Randy Travis’ Viral Cardiomyopathy: No Surgery, Device Installed


Over the weekend, singer Randy Travis fell seriously ill due to viral cardiomyopathy, a worrying acquired infection of the heart that can lead to damage and heart failure.

Randy Travis‘ viral cardiomyopathy and subsequent hospitalization led to an initial report that the country star had undergone heart surgery, according to sister-in-law Teresa Traywick.

Traywick is married to Travis’ brother Ricky Travis, and she said that her famous in-law had surgery after he was hospitalized, noting that her own spouse had suffered a similar issue recently:

“We have been told he has had surgery … Our prayers are going out to him because my husband just had a heart attack last year, so it is in their family.”

Prior to that, Randy Travis’ condition had only been hinted at by his reps, who released a brief statement updating fans and press that the singer had fallen ill:

“The Grammy winner is suffering from complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy. Travis was admitted into the medical facility yesterday.”

Now reps for Travis say that the report was inaccurate — but it seems understandable wires may have been crossed.

According to Webster, his agency, Travis underwent a minimally invasive procedure after he was admitted Sunday, but the device installed was placed with a catheter and not a scalpel:

“Contrary to reports, Randy Travis has not undergone heart surgery … Travis is being treated for viral cardiomyopathy. Travis was admitted into a Texas hospital on Sunday and underwent placement of an IMPELLA peripheral left ventricular assist device [LVAD] for stabilization prior to transferring hospitals.”

CBS spoke with cardiovascular expert Dr. Randall Starling, who specializes in issues including heart failure.

Starling says that while Travis’ bout with cardio myopathy sounds scary, doctors see cases of the condition frequently — and utilize a “full court press” approach to ensure recovery:

“In our world, this is one of the more common things that we deal with … For the patient and the family, it’s devastating, but it’s a common scenario we deal with on a daily basis.”

After the IMPELLA device was installed, Travis remained in critical condition in the hospital where he’s being treated.

Starling says it’s possible Randy Travis could recover from viral cardiomyopathy quickly — if the condition was caused by an infection and the infection resolves.