Arts & Entertainment

Doctor: Bret Michaels' Will to Live "Undeniable"

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LOS ANGELES -- Rocker turned reality star Bret Michaels is expected to make a full recovery, according to his doctor, who called the former Poison front-man's will to live "undeniable."

Dr. Joseph Zabramski, chief of cerebral surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, who has been leading the team treating Michaels, 47, since he suffered a brain hemorrhage last week.

"Mr. Michaels will continue to undergo testing considering we have hit a few roadblocks, including hyponatremia, severe cranial and back pain suffered from blood drainage, an emergency appendectomy performed a week earlier and a lifelong history of Type 1 diabetes," Zabramski said in a statement released Friday by Michaels' publicist, Joann Mignano.

"There is no doubt that Mr. Michaels' condition is serious," Zabramski added.

He said Michaels, who has two daughters, 9-year-old Raine Elizabeth and 4-year-old Jorja Bleu, "did not want his family to wake up and see him lying unconscious in the middle of the floor." He also said immediate medical attention and Michaels' "fight to stay conscious during the hemorrhage" enabled doctors to stabilize his condition.

Other doctors have said it's possible that Michaels could be healthy enough to appear on "The Celebrity Apprentice" live finale May 23. He is currently one of seven contestants remaining.

Michaels already filmed most of "The Celebrity Apprentice" last fall. However, the finale requires the last two contestants to debate against each other live in front of Trump.

There's also talk that Michaels could be back on tour by the summer.

"At this time we are planning to resume the tour May 26th in Ft. Smith, Arkansas provided there are no further complications or setbacks," Michael's road manager, Janna Elias, said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Elias announced on Michaels' website that the rocker suffered "a side effect from the brain hemorrhage called hyponatremia, a lack of sodium in the body which leads to seizures."

Michaels is responding well to tests and treatments, Elias said.

"Even though today was a minor setback doctors remain hopeful for a full recovery and plan to release more specific information next Monday."

Tuesday's statement was also the most detailed update on Michaels' condition released so far.

"Michaels' medical workup demonstrated findings of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke that causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain," the statement said. "It presents itself suddenly as the sound of a loud gunshot or thunderclap at the back of the head causing severe cranial pain and muscle spasms."

Elias said Michaels has undergone many tests, including angiograms, CT scans, MRIs and transcranial dopplers (TCDs).

"With further testing and rehabilitation, they are hopeful that Bret will gradually improve as the blood surrounding the brain dissolves and is reabsorbed into his system, which can be a very painful recovery and take several weeks to months," the statement said.

There has been a lot of speculation as to what could have caused Michaels' brain bleed, and Elias addressed that in Tuesday's statement.

"Many people are speculating Michaels' head injury suffered from a prop striking the singer at the Tony awards last June is the cause," she said. "Additional studies are planned throughout the week to hopefully detect the exact cause of the rupture."

According to Michaels' reps, the singer was rushed to the hospital after complaining of an excruciating headache the night of April 22nd.

The singer's latest health issue comes just days after he underwent an emergency appendectomy in San Antonio, Texas, on April 12.

After the surgery, Michaels transferred to a facility that specializes in post-surgical care of diabetic patients.

His diabetes is well publicized, and he has donated all money raised during his "Celebrity Apprentice" stint to the American Diabetes Association.

It is not yet known whether his brain hemorrhage is related to his diabetes, or to his recent surgery.

In a note to his fans, the rocker joked about being taken care of by "hot nurses" but also acknowledged the pain he was experiencing.

"I have a pretty good threshold for pain, but this one hurts."

The rocker is currently a contestant on Donald Trump's NBC competitive reality series, "The Celebrity Apprentice." He has also starred on VH1's "Rock of Love."

Donald Trump said in a statement Friday that he was "deeply saddened" to hear of Michaels' condition.

"He's a great competitor and champion, and I hope he will be fine," Trump said.

On "Celebrity Apprentice," Michaels has been concerned of late with his daughter's health.

She has been tested for diabetes after Michaels said recently "she is showing all the signs."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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