Since Randy Travis' debilitating 2013 stroke that rendered him essentially unable to walk or speak, the country star has made enormous progress in his recovery, aided by rehab and his wife, Mary. "When we left the hospital in November 2013, they said, 'Well, you know, he’s going to be bedridden the rest of his life. And you will be in and out of hospitals the rest of his life. So this is a huge task that you’re taking on,'" Mary told Rolling Stone in a recent interview.
"I said, 'I don’t mind that… and I don’t believe it,'" she recalled. The stroke left Travis with aphasia, which inhibits the brain's comprehension ability and the ability to speak, but Mary said he is continually making improvements. "He got to the point where he pretty much shut down as far as going through the rehab because it does get tedious. When there’s that much damage done, you take tiny baby steps," she explained. "There are plateaus — you’ll see a spurt of improvement, then it’ll flatline for a while and you’re just kind of at a plateau, and then you’ll see another improvement and every little thing is such a huge thing."
During the coronavirus pandemic, the couple has been quarantining together at their home in Texas. "We’re fortunate that we’re here on our farm, our ranch here in Texas. We have our horses and our cows and we go down and feed them and we talk to them. We have wide-open spaces and beautiful sunsets," she said, adding that the concept of life as they know it essentially ending wasn't a new one for them.
"Randy and I were talking about it, reflecting on how our world kind of shut down and came to a screeching halt seven years ago, when the stroke happened in July 2013," she recalled. "That’s when we hit a brick wall and everything changed and we were isolated from everything we had known before. So, to us, it was not that much of a transition. But for people that have never been through something like that in life, or a tragedy where your whole world is shattered and it changes in an instant, I’m sure that it was hard to adjust to, because it was hard for us to adjust to seven years ago."