Less than 2 weeks ago country music superstar Randy Travis was going about his life as usual.  That all changed in the blink of an eye when he suffered idiopathic cardiomyopathy at age 54.  The condition was made worse when he suffered a stroke while he was on life support.  After 48 hours on life support doctors were finally able to slowly ween him off of the machine.  He is now expected to make a recovery but he has a long road ahead of him.  In fact, according to TheBoot.com the singer faces months of intensive therapy and will require medications to help control what has now become a chronic condition.  Travis will remain hospitalized for two to three weeks to stabilize his heart.  He will then an aggressive course of physical therapy during that time.  After he transfers to an inpatient facility, he will continue to receive intensive physical therapy.  “We anticipate that it will take months to recover from the stroke,” said Dr. Gary Erwin an intensivist at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, where Travis is being treated.

Doctors for Randy Travis have provided another update on his condition. The singer faces months of intensive therapy and will require medication to help control what has now become a chronic condition.

Dr. Michael Mack, the medical director of cardiovascular disease at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, reveals Travis was on life support for the first 48 hours after he was  hospitalized last Sunday (July 7), suffering from viral cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. “His heart did respond positively to that and after a 48-hour period of time we were able to wean him from that support,” Mack states.

It was after that support was removed that Travis suffered a stroke on Wednesday (July 10), necessitating emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. Dr. Mack adds that the singer’s illness was initially viral in nature, but has now become a chronic condition.

“He has what’s called idiopathic cardiomyopathy,” Mack says, “which means he has scarring of his heart muscle that is causing his heart to be weak and not able to support his circulation without help of either medical devices of medication.” The doctor states that Travis’ heart shows scar tissue, but no active infection, and that his condition does not appear to stem from alcohol or drugs, pointing to his family history as the main contributing factor.

Dr. Gary Erwin is an intensivist at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, where Travis is being treated. He says Travis has responded well to his surgery, and that scans have revealed an increase in brain activity. The singer is currently on IV meds to help support his heart, but will soon start on the oral medications that he will have to take long-term.

“As a result of his heart condition, acutely, and the stroke, he was put on a ventilator to help him breathe during his hospitalization,” Erwin says. “He remains on that, but we are decreasing that support daily.” Travis is awake and alert, interacting with family and friends, and beginning the early stages of physical therapy.

Travis will remain hospitalized for two or three weeks to stabilize his heart. He will begin an aggressive course of physical therapy during that time. After he transfers to an inpatient facility, he will continue to receive intensive physical therapy. “We anticipate it will take months to recover from the stroke,” Erwin states.

Travis’ fiancee, Mary Davis, thanked the singer’s friends, family, fans and medical team for their expertise, support and prayers. “I know that Randy feels each and every one of those,” she states. “He feels the hands of the doctors and the care of the nurses and the love of his fans. His friends and family have all been touched by that. He is responding well to voices and he sees and he understands. He’s miles beyond where any of us thought he would be a few days ago.”

She adds, “It’s heartwarming to see that we have such a strong person under there that’s willing to fight with us. We all know now that we had greatness to work with. We ask for your continued support. I know that Randy will be so touched by that when he understands the magnitude of it all.”

Travis is still listed in critical condition, but he has stabilized. His doctors will continue to provide updates as his condition improves.

It’s never too early to talk to your clients about long term care insurance.  Just like Randy Travis the need for care can happen in the blink of an eye.  While Randy Travis has to means to cover the cost of the care that will be required most Americans do not.

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