Country Music Legend Randy Travis Opens Up About Long Recovery After Debilitating Stroke
Country music staple Randy Travis is out with his first autobiography, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving Storms of Life, chronicling his life. It will cover his early childhood years in North Carolina to superstardom and subsequent illness that led to a devastating stroke, robbing him of his distinct voice in 2013. In interviews with his wife, Mary, the “I Told You So” singer is speaking about the struggles of recovery as well as the financial straits his ex-wife and former manager left him in back in 2010.
While able to speak better than he has since his stroke, Travis’ wife and Ken Abraham, who helped Travis with the crafting and writing of his book, take on much of the burden of speaking throughout recent interviews. An example of just how tragic his stroke was.
“It’s amazing to me because Randy spent about six months in the hospital, in various hospitals, and about six weeks of that in some sort of coma,” Abraham said in an interview, sitting next to the Travises. “And the doctors said, ‘He’s never going to be able to walk again. He’s never going to be able to talk again. You saw him walk in here today. He can talk and he’s Randy Travis. God’s not done with him yet.”
And Travis has been stunning crowds with his renewed ability to sing.
Randy Travis was able to sing a rendition of “Amazing Grace” at his 2016 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“We didn’t tell anybody he was going to do that,” Mary says. “When I said [in the acceptance speech] I gave you back the voice of Randy Travis, we have friends that were in the audience, even from Texas, and they were like, ‘What is she doing? Has she lost her mind?’ They tell me that story. They said, ‘We just stood there and said, ‘Has Mary lost her mind?’ And he took that microphone and it was like he knew exactly what to do and how to do it.”
“We practiced it a lot,” she continued. “But just the two of us. It was a special moment and he didn’t let me down. He didn’t let the world down.”
Travis married his new wife, Mary Davis, whom he’d known for more than 20 years, in 2015.
On July 7, 2013, Randy Travis was admitted to a Dallas-area hospital with what was believed to be a respiratory infection. He was admitted with a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and three days later suffered a massive stroke leading surgeons to cut into his skull to relieve pressure on his brain. Through it all, his then-fiancee, Mary, was beside him.
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The stroke and following years of recovery have kept Travis from working to rebuild his financial security after it was discovered in 2010 that his then-wife of 19 years and manager, Lib Hatcher, had squandered away millions he thought he’d saved.
Travis and Davis describe their financial situation to this day as “dire.”
“Hopefully, the book will help with that,” co-author Ken Abraham said.
It’s wonderful to see Randy Travis looking like his old self again, despite his inability to speak off the cuff in public. Hopefully, Travis’ road to physical and financial recovery is getting easier.