Randy Travis' cardiomyopathy diagnosis – which landed him in the hospital nearly a week ago following congestive heart failure and caused a subsequent stroke – is not the result of drugs or alcohol abuse, according to Texas doctors.
The well-known American country singer, professionally known as Randy Travis, (born Randy Bruce Traywick) was hospitalized with cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition earlier this month, and suffered a stroke while in the hospital following surgery.
The 54-year-old Grammy-award winning entertainer has been hospitalized since July 7 after suffering congestive heart failure due to a viral illness and suffered the stroke Wednesday night. Doctors performed surgery and managed to relieve pressure on his brain, reports Fox News. He has since been resting comfortably and recovering.
Dr. Gary Erwin of The Heart Hospital Plano Baylor said in a statement that Travis has stabilized and is now breathing spontaneously with the help of a ventilator. Travis is no longer using any mechanical devices that help support his heart.
Cardiomyopathy is a debilitating disease of the heart muscle with a measurable deterioration of the myocardium's function. Common symptoms are difficulty or shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and peripheral edema (a swelling of the legs). Without treatment, the condition can lead to heart failure and sudden cardiac death.
Treatment depends on the type of cardiomyopathy and condition of disease. Based on the etiology treatment may include medications or implanted pacemakers, defibrillators, ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for severe heart failure, or ablation for recurring dysrhythmias that cannot be otherwise eliminated through standard treatment.
The congestive heart failure Travis suffered occurred when his heart was incapable of providing sufficient pump-action to maintain necessary blood-flow. The condition is diagnosed by physical exams and typically confirmed with echocardiography.
Individuals with unhealthy and stressful lifestyles that include the persistent abuse of drugs and alcohol can increase the likelihood of a heart condition, along with a host of other ailments.
Although it was suspected that Travis' history of alcoholism was a potential factor, as the singer has been arrested for DUIs in the past, doctors have determined his heart condition is more likely the result of a family history of cardiomyopathy, reports Yahoo.
Their assessment followed medical imaging of Travis' heart, which did not reveal indicative signs of drug or alcohol influence.
Travis has been officially diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy, meaning he has scarring of the heart muscle that causes his heart to weaken and fail to support his circulation.
Idiopathic is an adjective used primarily in medicine which means "arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause."