Randy Travis' heart issues which landed him in the hospital a week ago ... are NOT the result of drug or alcohol abuse, according to his doctors.
Doctors at the Texas hospital where Randy is getting treatment just said -- based on images of Randy's heart -- it's more likely that a family history of cardiomyopathy is to blame for his ongoing heart trouble.
They also said the country music star has been using a ventilator -- but he's improving and they hope he'll be breathing on his own soon.
Randy was airlifted to the hospital on July 8 -- and suffered a stroke last week while getting treatment.
Get Well Phone Call From
7/11/2013 7:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Randy Travis' friends are rallying for the country singer to get better ... and TMZ has learned several celebrities have called RT to send their well wishes ... including Chuck Norris!!!
Randy's publicist tells us several stars have reached out since Randy was admitted to the hospital with heart issues this weekend ... including Josh Turner, The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Nichols, Lyle Lovett, Kenny Rogers, Ray Price, Lee Greenwood and Chuck Norris.
Unfortunately, Randy suffered a medical setback last night when he had a stroke that required emergency surgery. We're told Randy is currently recovering, but he's still listed in critical condition.
4:20 PM PT -- We're told Randy got a visit from George Jones' widow Nancy Jones -- who brought recordings from George's catalog to play for the ailing country singer.
We're told Nancy was very passionate about being there for Randy because RT had gone out of his way to support her family when George was sick earlier this year.
Nancy issued a statement to TMZ saying, "I love him and I know that George is looking over him during this time."
7/11/2013 5:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
9:45 PM PT Randy is out of surgery, but still in critical condition ... according to his rep.
Randy Travis suffered a stroke ... and is currently in emergency surgery to relieve pressure from his brain.
According to the country star's publicist he was in a Texas hospital this evening getting treatment for his ongoing heart issues when the stroke hit.
As we previously reported ... Travis was airlifted to a hospital on Sunday when a viral illness led to congestive heart failure -- and doctors had inserted a tiny pump to assist in stabilizing his heart.
Just a few hours ago, one of Randy's doctors said he was stable and "showing signs of improvement."
The rep says Randy's family and friends are the hospital now ... waiting for him to come out of surgery.
He is listed in critical condition.
Fitted with 'World's Smallest Heart Pump'
7/9/2013 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Randy Travis has been outfitted with a device that's considered the "world's smallest heart pump" ... TMZ has learned.
Travis' publicist, Kirt Webster, tells TMZ ... the singer did NOT undergo heart surgery, contrary to reports, but did have an Impella peripheral left ventrical assist device placed in his heart for "stabilization while transferring hospitals."
According to the company that makes the Impella device, the pump is commonly inserted through a "standard catheterization procedure" -- in which the doctor inserts a catheter into an artery in either the arm, groin or neck and send it all the way to the heart.
We're told the device is considered the world's smallest heart pump -- the same size as a coffee stirrer and smaller in diameter than a pencil.
FYI -- according to the Mayo Clinic, a ventricular assist device (VAD) is "an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of your heart (the ventricles) to the rest of your body."
Travis' rep insists the procedure is minimally invasive -- and therefore NOT considered heart surgery.
Travis has also issued a statement ... saying, "We are very thankful to the fans for their love and support during this time."
We're told cards and well wishes can be sent to:
266 Blanks Road
Tioga, Texas 76271
Family and Friends 'Frantic'
About Singer's Condition
7/9/2013 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The people closest to Randy Travis are extremely worried about the singer's condition ... with sources telling TMZ his health had declined pretty rapidly in recent days after coming down with what he initially thought was a bad cold.
Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... just 3 weeks ago, 54-year-old Travis completed his court-ordered rehab stemming from a 2012 drunk driving arrest ... and was finally back on the road.
We're told ... once Travis began touring, he came down with what he thought was a cold ... but turned out to be pneumonia.
Our sources say Travis' health deteriorated quickly ... and Sunday he was airlifted to a hospital, where he was treated for complications stemming from viral cardiomyopathy.
One medical expert tells TMZ viral cardiomyopathy is not necessarily a death sentence ... and some patients can survive, depending on the level of permanent damage to the heart muscle.
Travis' camp hasn't released the particulars about his medical situation -- only to say he's in critical condition.
Still, we're told Randy's friends and family are "frantic."
with Heart Issues
7/8/2013 2:06 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Country superstar Randy Travis is in CRITICAL CONDITION after suffering from complications stemming from recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy ... this according to the singer's rep.
We're told the 54-year-old Grammy winner was admitted to a hospital in Texas yesterday.
According to the Mayo Clinic, cardiomyopathy is a "disease that weakens and enlarges your heart muscle." Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.
It's unclear what caused Travis' condition.
Travis was scheduled to perform in Deadwood, South Dakota on Wednesday.
Story developing ...