“DON’T let me die!”
That’s the plea Randy Travis made from his Texas hospital bed as friends and family gathered tearfully around his Plano home, praying that the legendary but troubled country star would survive.
Travis, 54, was admitted to the hospital on July 7, stricken with a deadly case of viral cardiomyopathy, a virus that attacks the heart muscle. Friends fear the crooner’s wild lifestyle had weakened his heart and helped cause the infection.
“If he was a drinker, then alcohol weakened his heart,” Dr. Matthew Budoff, a cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA who does not treat Travis, told The ENQUIRER.
Travis, after years of being a heavy drinker, spent almost two decades on the wagon while married to his ex-wife Lib Hatcher. However, following their 2010 divorce – after Lib caught Randy having an affair with Mary Beougher, the wife of his dentist – the country singer went back to the bottle.
And Randy’s grief-stricken dad, Harold Traywick, who is estranged from his son, places the blame for his son’s alcohol troubles squarely on Mary.
THE ENQUIRER broke the news that Randy had been hospitalized to his dad, and in an exclusive interview, he said: “Randy started drinking again when he got together with Mary, and his life just fell apart.”
Meanwhile, a source close to the family told The ENQUIRER: “Randy was pleading with Mary when he checked into the hospital, ‘Don’t let me die! I want to live!’”
Travis had been pushing his luck in recent times. In February 2012, he was arrested for public intoxication. The following August, he was discovered sprawled naked on the road and drunk after a car crash, receiving a $2,000 fine and a 180-day suspended sentence. Three weeks after that, he was cited for assault after a drunken fistfight with Mary’s ex-husband in a Texas church parking lot.
“The life he’d been living with Mary didn’t do him any good,” his dad told The ENQUIRER. “Once he started drinking again, he got really messed up.”
And then he landed in the hospital.
Travis had been on a busy tour schedule in recent months, building on his long career that included 20 studio albums, 16 No. 1 hits and seven Grammy awards.
“Randy never would have gone downhill if he hadn’t lost Lib Hatcher,” Traywick said of Randy’s ex, who also served as the singer’s manager.
“She kept him on the straight and narrow for a long time. But the last time I saw Randy and Mary, I could smell the liquor on both of them. Randy could never hold his liquor. He’d become a wild man.”