In a revealing new interview with LIFE Today, Randy Travis and his wife, Mary, give new details about the country singer’s ongoing recovery from a devastating stroke.
There’s a reverence in the room throughout the entire interview. Likely, that’s a reaction that greets Travis where ever he goes these days, and rightly so. The man has been through hell. But, Randy Travis isn’t going anywhere. Not yet.
Travis had a virus make its way to his heart, probably causing the heart to throw a clot. Which, in turn, caused a stroke.
By the time doctors realized that Travis had had a stroke, it was too late for typical treatment options. Mary recounted how he spent every day for two and a half years in therapy. The staff became like family.
They opted against a heart transplant. (According to Mary, his heart is “near perfect” these days).
“They did have to do emergency brain surgery,” said Mary. “The surgery had a one to two percent chance of survival. He got through that, just as Randy Travis does. Just a warrior.”
Travis is walking and starting to regain speech, which is something the doctors didn’t think possible. “It got to the point where they had given up hope, but the beautiful thing was, Randy… Randy and God have this thing going on,” says Mary.
Regardless of his ability to join in, Travis is engaged and very much part of the conversation throughout the interview. When Robinson asks Mary how she’s doing, Travis grins, gives a quiet chuckle and looks at her knowingly. It’s an intimate moment; Travis is clearly well-aware (and appreciative) of his wife’s dedication, faith and positivity.
She talks about the hard days but reiterates she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “He’s so brave, so courageous,” says Mary. “He never once gave up.”
You can see that same grit from Travis in the interview.
Their hopes for recovery? Travis wants to be on that stage again. His wife is quick to suggest the songs that are probably tumbling in his mind, just waiting until he can write them down.
When Travis is asked if he’s still hearing the music, he gives a long, assured “Yeah.”