Randy Travis is now awake and responding to family members at his bedside after suffering a stroke earlier this month, but doctors say he has a long and difficult road ahead of him.
Travis made headlines last summer when he allegedly drove drunk, walked naked into a convenience store to buy cigarettes, and crashed his car into a tree near his Texas home. He was also arrested for fist-fighting in a church parking lot (twice). After clearly having a rough year, the country star was hospitalized for cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure in early July before suffering the stroke, which required surgery and a ventilator.
"He remains on that, but we are decreasing that support daily,” Dr. Gary Erwin said. “He is breathing spontaneously with the help of the ventilator and hope to have him weaned off of that very soon breathing completely on his own.”
Though the troubled country singer has a history of alcohol abuse, doctors say that tests show it more than likely had nothing to do with his heart problems.
“From the appearance on echocardiograms, which are images of his heart, this is not the appearance of either drugs or alcohol causing the heart condition. Mr. Travis does have a family history of cardiomyopathy and it is more likely related to that," Dr. Michael Mack said.
Caregivers say Travis is "miles beyond" where he was just a week ago and expect him to recover, although they say it will not be easy. He is, however, already starting very basic physical therapy in his recovery and responded well to the surgery, which eased pressure on his brain.