Travis gets prayers from armed forces to country music community, remains critical

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by MONIKA DIAZ and JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 10:32 PM

PLANO -- Randy Travis was under heavy sedation and resting comfortably late Friday afternoon, but remains in critical condition at Baylor's The Heart Hospital in Plano.

The country crooner was taken to the hospital with viral cardiomyopathy, then suffered a stroke. He is recovering from both heart and brain surgeries.

The country music community, including his faithful fans, are hoping and praying for Travis' recovery -- especially those who attend Billy Bob's in Fort Worth.

"That's why I want to do this. He's one of the reasons I want to stand up and sing," said Friday's headliner Tate Stevens and winner of the show, X-Factor.

"Once you start singing it, everyone will know it," Stevens said. "It's just one of those songs."

Stevens performed Friday night, and was sure to sprinkle in a classic Travis song as an homage to his idol. He sang "Forever and Ever, Amen."

As Stevens warmed up, lighting operator Rhonda Kennedy couldn't help but mouth every word.

"It's special in my heart, because of my mother," Kennedy said.

Her mother sang it to her growing up.

He's getting prayers and well-wishes not only from the country music community, but also from many in the armed forces, prayers including the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation (TWWF).

Travis' respect for the men and women in the U.S military goes beyond celebrity.

"He understands what these guys are going through overseas and back home," said TWWF Co-Chairman Ron Nash.

Nash has worked twice with the country singer to raise money for the organization, which helps wounded soldiers with money, meals, and many other services.

The last time the two saw each other was in September in Tyler for a foundation event. The 54-year-old Grammy winner volunteered his time and talent to give back to those who gave so much.

"He shook hands with everybody and he took pictures," Nash said. "It was a low-key event for us. He then put in an hour-and-a-half concert and on the last song, he let all the warriors come up and sing with him."

Nash credits Travis with some of the organization's growth by helping raise at least $100,000.

"He has taken this from a very small organization to have us expand our network, because of the money he has raised, to the next level," he said.

They are now giving back to their friend as he recovers.

"One minute, you are okay, the next minute, you are struggling for your life," Nash said. "I pray for Randy everyday."

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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