Randy Travis recovering after stroke

A dramatic turn for the worse for country music singer Randy Travis

Published On: Jul 11 2013 04:44:44 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 11 2013 05:42:06 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

Just hours after doctors at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano said the singer was showing signs of improvement, his publicist said the 54-year-old suffered a stroke.

Hundreds of Twitter users are using the hashtag #PrayForRandy as the country music world sends its well wishes.

Travis was being treated for congestive heart failure caused by a viral heart condition.

He received an LVAD which helps the heart pump and seemed to be improving.

Then late Wednesday night, Travis suffered a stroke which Houston Methodist heart surgeon Dr. Basel Ramlawi said is not unheard of in cases like these.

Dr. Ramlawi explained, "If you have blood clots that form anywhere in on the left side of the heart, whether the left ventricle or the left atrium or the associated valves and arteries, those blood clots can break off and it goes into this aorta right here."

Dr. Ramlawi said the first stop for that blood clot would be the brain.

Travis' doctors in Plano performed surgery to relieve the pressure on the brain.

Dr. Ramlawi told Local 2, "Anytime you have damage to the organ or the brain specifically in this case, it may start to swell and in order to relieve that swelling or pressure on the brain, neurosurgeons perform a procedure that can relieve that pressure."

But it may be too soon to tell how much damage was done by the stroke.

Dr. Ramlawi added, "Whether it causes permanent damage depends on the extensiveness of the infarct or the extensiveness of the area that's affected and the amount of cell death that's there."

At last check, Travis was listed in critical condition.

His publicist said Travis' fiancée and his family have been by his side throughout his ordeal.

Friends Kenny Rogers, The Oak Ridge Boys and Chuck Norris are among the many who have called to check on his well being.