Randy Travis' appearance at the 2016 CMA Awards will be his most high profile appearance yet as he wages a courageous battle to recover from a debilitating stroke.

Travis suffered a stroke on July 10, 2013 after being admitted to the hospital on July 7. A heart condition was at the root of it all. His doctor said an acute viral illness led to his trip to the emergency room, where he was immediately placed on life support and breathing devices. When he was weaned from those devices, he suffered the stroke.

Travis had idiopatchic cardiomyopathy, or scarring of the heart muscle that caused it to be weak and not support his circulation without intervention. This was caused by family history, his doctors said at the time. After his multi-week hospitalization he went home to begin what has been three years worth of physical therapy to improve his mobility and communication. At first he was unable to speak, and he couldn't walk. Over the months and years he's regained a limited ability to walk and talk, as he showed during the ceremony to announce he'd made the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Those who've interacted with Travis have said he's very cognitively aware, but still struggles to speak clearly for long periods of time. However, he surprised his fans and the country music industry when he sang "Amazing Grace" at his Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony in October.

Travis' wife, Mary, has become his spokesperson, telling not only his story of nearly dying in the hospital three years ago but also detailing his progress. The couple married in 2015. She's always by his side.

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