After suffering a massive stroke, Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis was in a coma and was struggling to stay alive. Doctors suggested that his wife pull the plug, but she refused to give up hope. And her decision is what saved his life.
Randy Travis, the well-known country music star, has sold over 25 million records and has a career spanning nearly four decades.
On July 7, 2013, however, Randy was admitted to a hospital, where he flatlined for three and a half minutes. The next day, Randy was transferred to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, where doctors diagnosed him with viral cardiomyopathy, where a viral infection causes myocarditis, and he was placed on life support.
Randy’s wife, Mary, was told that he needed lifesaving surgery, and he only had a 1 to 2 percent chance of survival.
“At this point, the 1 to 2 percent chance is 100 percent chance over zero,” Mary Travis told the Tennessean. “I prayed hard, ‘God, please let me have him back, any way, shape or form.’”
After the surgery, Randy spent another five and a half months in the hospital, of which six weeks were spent in a coma.
“Life was minute to minute. They said ‘pull the plug, there’s no hope,’” Mary said.
But Mary thought otherwise. She recalled holding her husband’s hand asking if he was going to continue fighting, and she said that he squeezed her hand back in reply.
“I knew then he wasn’t ready to quit fighting,” Mary shared. “I went back and told the doctors, ‘It’s not our choice to decide that … And I suggest that everybody get on board and do everything they can do to save him.’”
And how fortunate it was that she said that, because he did eventually wake from his coma. However, the stroke had left Randy without the ability to walk or talk. He was no longer able to do simple tasks, but none of that deterred Mary.
Randy’s wife and family were by his side to offer support through this challenging time. Randy spent four hours a day for the next two and a half years in rehab and therapy. And slowly but surely, Randy got better day by day.
Mary says her hope and faith in God are what gave her strength each day, but for Randy, Mary believes it was music.
Fellow musician Dave Alexander started holding music sessions in Randy’s home. In an interview with WFAA, Dave said he played old country songs and then started singing Randy’s songs.
“I can see it in his eyes. I just know when it reaches him. I have no doubt it reaches him,” Dave said.
And it proved true. Although Randy could not speak in complete sentences at the time, he was able to sing “Amazing Grace,” which he did the day he was inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame.
Today, Randy and Dave perform shows to raise money for the Randy Travis Foundation, which supports research for cardiomyopathy.
“We can still serve a purpose. We just sing a new and different song now,” Mary said.
Watch Randy’s story here:
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