Acquired viral cardiomyopathy: Randy Travis has undergone heart surgery, family says

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   July 9, 2013 at 12:30 PM   |   Comments

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July 9 (UPI) -- Country singer Randy Travis, 54, was hospitalized Sunday after suffering complications from acquired viral cardiomyopathy.

He has now undergone surgery, according to his family.

Viral cardiomyopathy is a serious heart condition that stems from infection. The condition causes individual cells within the heart to stop functioning, which weakens the muscles of the heart.

Travis had been diagnosed shortly before his hospitalization after coming down with what he thought was a cold. The condition is often confused with pneumonia, as it first causes shortness of breath.

He was said to be in critical condition after being admitted to a Texas hospital. Teresa Traywick, Travis' sister-in-law, said that he had an operation. Heart problems run in the Travis family, and his brother had a similar diagnosis last year.

"My husband just had a heart attack last year, so it is in their family," Traywick said. Traywick is married to Travis' brother, Ricky Traywick.

"Their mother passed away at an early age with her heart, so it is like these boys are following right in her footsteps. My prayers are with them."

Travis' next concert Wednesday in Deadwood, S.D., has been cancelled.

Acquired viral cardiomyopathy is reversible in about 50 percent of cases, said Dr. Guilherme Oliveira, who did not treat Travis.

"Beyond that, 25 to 30 percent of patients will experience some heart dysfunction that will need to be managed with medication and doctor’s appointments for the rest of their lives. The remainder will either require a heart transplant or die from the disease."

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