NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Most people recover from myocarditis, but a small number rapidly develop life-threatening illness — experiencing a domino effect as the inflammation weakens the heart muscle, leading to congestive heart failure, in which the heart can't pump properly. Doctors treat them with supportive care, trying to allow the heart muscle to rest and recover, sometimes by inserting devices such as the one Travis received to help the heart pump.
Heart problems can lead to a stroke and can cause other complications.
It was not clear what kind of stroke Travis suffered. The most common type of stroke is caused by a blood clot that travels to the brain. The other kind happens when a blood vessel in the head bursts or leaks. Stroke patients who get treatment quickly are usually given a drug to dissolve the clot that caused the stroke.
Drs. William Gray and Michael Mack of the Baylor Health Care System in Texas described Travis' condition and hospitalization for the first time in a video statement earlier Wednesday, noting his condition had stabilized and he had "shown signs of improvement."
Hours later, he was in the operating room. Doctors had not yet addressed Travis' current condition publicly Thursday and Webster said in an email he had no further information to release.
The "Three Wooden Crosses" singer was in good health until three weeks before he was hospitalized, when he contracted a viral upper respiratory infection, Gray said.
Travis was admitted to Baylor Medical Center McKinney near his home in Tioga, about 60 miles north of Dallas, through the emergency room Sunday. He was transferred to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano after having the pump installed via catheter.
Travis' illness comes as he's been trying to put his life back together following a series of embarrassing public incidents involving alcohol. Travis pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in January following an arrest last year and received two years of probation and a $2,000 fine. He was required to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol treatment facility and complete 100 hours of community service.