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    Randy Travis Suffers a Stroke, Undergoes Emergency Surgery

    Randy Travis Rebecca Sapp/WireImage

    Randy Travis has encountered another setback.

    The 54-year-old country singer suffered a stroke, a complication of his congestive heart failure, and needed surgery Wednesday to relieve pressure on his brain, according to his publicist.

    "He is in critical condition," the rep said. "We will have updates as they become available. His family and friends here with him at the hospital request your prayers and support."

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    Dr. William Gray, director of cardiovascular services at Baylor Medical Center at McKinney, Texas, where Travis was admitted Sunday night, said in a statement released earlier today that the artist had been "in excellent health" before he developed a viral upper-respiratory illness three weeks ago.

    Doctors diagnosed viral cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure and Travis was ultimately transferred to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano for more specialized care. Dr. Michael Mack, who took over Travis' case there, said the singer had "shown signs of improvement."

    Travis underwent placement of an Impella peripheral left ventricular assist device so that he could be stabilized prior to transferring hospitals. Per the Mayo Clinic, the device is an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of the heart to the rest of the body.

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