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Doctors had given the singer a less than 1% chance of survival, leaving Mary Travis to search for answers over whether to take him off life support.
"Even in his state, his semi-coma state, he squeezed my hand,'' she told Jenna Bush Hager in an interview alongside her husband on TODAY Monday.
"And he laid there, and I just I saw this tear just fell. And it was, you know, one, two at a time. And I just went back to the doctors and I said, 'We're fighting this.'''
Randy Travis, 60, details his road to recovery from the stroke, as well as the highs and lows from his successful career in a new book called "Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life," a title borrowed from one of his hit songs.
"Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis, $18 (originally $27), Amazon
"The song 'Forever and Ever, Amen' is all about love,'' Mary Travis said. "It's a universal song. It's a beautiful song. It's like the national anthem of country music."
Randy Travis underwent brain surgery after emerging from his coma in 2013 and spent nearly six months in the hospital. He had to learn how to walk again and has had difficulty speaking.
Two years after his stroke, the couple married in an emotional ceremony.
"One of my favorite songs of his is called 'Are We in Trouble Now?' and it is a beautiful love song,'' she said. "It was one that he was gonna sing to me at the wedding, but we play it all the time, and we kind of hold hands and cry."
Randy Travis reached another milestone in his ongoing recovery when he stunned the crowd with his moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" in 2016 after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"It's a special song,'' Mary Travis said.
The book not only details the highs of selling more than 25 million albums, producing 22 No. 1 hits and winning six Grammy Awards, but it also opens up about the personal struggles that played out in public in the years before his stroke.
Randy Travis divorced his first wife in 2009 and struggled with alcohol abuse while also suffering financially from poor business decisions. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2012 after police found him naked by the side of the road following a car crash.
"He's always owned up to his shortcomings and failures, but he has always risen above them, too,'' Mary Travis said. "And he wants the reader to understand that there is mountains and valleys in life."
Recently celebrating reaching one of those mountains when he turned 60 on May 4, the singer made an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville that warmed the hearts of his legions of fans. He was joined onstage by a host of country luminaries for a group rendition of "Forever and Ever, Amen."
"What I've learned about him is that he hadn't forgotten anything, but the world will never forget him either,'' his wife said.
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