Randy Travis' publicist announced yesterday (Wednesday 9th July) that his client had suffered a stroke after being admitted into The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano. He was taken into surgery but remains in a critical condition. The latest surgery was in order to remove pressure from the singer's brain, following the stroke.

Randy Travis
Randy Travis outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, New York, arriving for the Late Show With David Letterman in 2008.

According to the NHS Health Library, congestive heart failure 'occurs when the heart is not strong enough to pump blood efficiently around the body' this caused a build-up - 'congestion' - of fluid in the lungs and body tissue. 

The causes of congestive heart failure are an inflamed or infected heart (cardiomyopathy), smoking, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and pre-existing heart conditions.

Travis is reported to have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and has a history of alcoholism. Throughout the years 2011-2012 the country singer was arrested on a number of occasions in incidents relating to alcohol. These included, according to TMZ, driving (naked) under the influence of alcohol; public intoxication and assault. 

Since these incidents Travis appears to have changed his ways, in an interview with TMZ in November last year, his lawyer Larry Friedman said Travis has "eliminated alcohol from is daily life". 

Many of the causes of congestive heart failure result from lifestyle choices. Such choices can, with sufficient will-power, be changed thus reducing the risk of further difficulties with this condition. Medication is also used to treat the condition. 

The NHS warns this is a long-term problem which cannot be easily resolved. The matter is complicated as Travis also suffered a stroke, this could mean his recovery process is hampered.

Travis remains in hospital, his publicist said: "his family and friends here with him at the hospital request your prayers and support".

 Randy Travis
Randy Travis at the CMA Celebrity Close Up Event in Nashville, 2008. 

Randy Travis
Randy Travis singing the American national anthem at the Christians United For Israel event, Washington Convention Center in 2007.