DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Country music star Randy Travis was awake and making progress Monday as he recovers from surgery following a stroke, his doctors said.

In a news release and video from the Texas hospital, where the 54-year-old singer is recovering, doctors also gave a more detailed explanation for the health troubles, saying they were caused by scarring on his heart.

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“From the appearance on echocardiograms, which are images of his heart, this is not the appearance of drugs or alcohol causing the heart condition, said Dr. Michael Mack, a cardiac surgeon and medical director of cardiovascular disease at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas.  “Mr. Travis does have a family history with cardiomyopathy, and it is more likely related to that.”

Doctors said Travis remains on a ventilator but is breathing spontaneously and his breathing support is gradually being reduced. He was interacting with his family and friends and has begun the early stages of physical therapy.

He will stay at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano for two to three more weeks before being transferred to another facility where he will undergo aggressive physical therapy. Doctors say it will take months to recover from the stroke, but a biopsy shows the swelling in his brain caused by the event last Wednesday is subsiding and he is making good progress in his recovery.

Mary Davis, Travis’ fiancee, thanked the singer’s friends and fans for their prayers.

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“I know that Randy feels each and every one of those,” said Davis.  “He feels the hands of the doctors, the care of the nurses, and the love of his fans. His friends and family have all been touched by that. He is responding well to voices and he sees and he understands. He’s miles beyond where any of us thought he would be a few days ago.6:16 it’s heartwarming to see that we have such a strong person under there that’s willing to fight with us.”

The Grammy Award-winning “Three Wooden Crosses” singer checked into the hospital on July 7 after a viral illness affected his heart. Doctors initially thought the virus caused congestive heart failure, but have since determined that Travis has scarring on his heart.

Dr. Mack said the scarring has caused Travis’ heart to become weak and require other devices to assist it to pump blood.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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