Country music stars and fans joined together to urge prayers for Randy Travis after he underwentfollowing a at a Texas hospital this week.
Travis remained in critical condition Thursday after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain Wednesday night, publicist Kirt Webster said. The 54-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer had been improving while being treated for heart failure caused by a viral infection when he had the stroke.
Nancy Jones, the widow of Travis' lifelong hero George Jones, paid a visit to Travis on Thursday. She flew to Plano from Nashville to be with Travis and his fiancee, Mary Beougher, Webster said. She played a CD of some of Jones' classic songs for Travis.
"Randy and George Jones were good friends," Nancy Jones said in an email to The Associated Press. "When I was dealing with George's issues a few months ago, both Randy and Mary were right there for me. I had to get on a plane and come see him. I love him and I know that George is looking over him during this time."
Webster said Travis is surrounded by family and friends, including his brother, Dennis Traywick, and his pastor, Jeff Perry. Kenny Rogers, the Oak Ridge Boys, Chuck Norris, Lyle Lovett, Ray Price and several others have called to check in on Travis.
"I always feel like he's part of our family, he's in our family," Keith Urban said in an interview Wednesday morning in Nashville. "And I was one of those guys in Australia that bought 'Storms of Life' and became a Randy fan very quickly in late '80s, and I really feel for him right now."
Other stars took to Twitter to send their thoughts:
Praying for Randy Travis...-- Martina McBride (@martinamcbride) July 11, 2013
Praying myself, and asking all to pray for Randy Travis.-- Hillary Scott (@HillaryScottLA) July 11, 2013
Sending healing strength and love to you this morning @randytravis -KU-- Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) July 9, 2013
God be with the medical team that's working with @randytravis this evening.-- Lee Greenwood (@TheLeeGreenwood) July 11, 2013
We're all pulling for you Randy.-- Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) July 11, 2013
The setback occurred hours after doctors said Travis was showing signs of improvement since the start of treatment Sunday for congestive heart failure and the insertion of a pump to help his heart increase blood flow.
His doctors said Wednesday in a video statement that his heart problem stemmed from an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus, but they have not released any information since.
Infections, both viral and bacterial, may start elsewhere in the body but sometimes can affect the heart, either because the infection itself spreads or because immune cells that are fighting it enter the heart and cause inflammation.
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.
Webster's most recent update on Wednesday night said, "We will keep you updated."