By DERRIK J. LANG
AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES — Bret Michaels is expected to make a full recovery, according to his doctor.
The 47-year-old former Poison frontman’s will to live is “undeniable,” said Dr. Joseph Zabramski, chief of cerebrovascular surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, who has been leading the team treating ‘The Celebrity Apprentice‘ contestant 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.
Michaels, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 6 and underwent an emergency appendectomy April 12, was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital last week with a severe headache. He was later diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain. The cause of the hemorrhage is still unknown.
“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 said it is 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 on Donald Trump’s competitive reality series, including pop singer Cyndi Lauper, reality TV diva Sharon Osbourne, celebrity chef Curtis Stone and actress Holly Robinson Peete.
“If all the studies he had done show no evidence of an aneurysm being found, it would really just depend on his energy level,” said Dr. Ronald Benitez, director of cerebrovascular surgery at Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. “If all the tests were negative, and I was watching the show at the end of May, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if he was on it.”
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. If Michaels ascends to the final showdown, it would be unprecedented in “The Apprentice” franchise history if he is not present to defend himself in the boardroom.
“We’ve never been confronted with anything like this,” Trump told Matt Lauer on NBC’s ‘Today’ show Tuesday. “He is still in the show. He’s doing really, really well, and all of sudden … I can’t imagine. It’s going to be live for two hours, and it’s going to be in four weeks. I can’t imagine he’s going to be on the finale, but he very well might be.”
Whether he’s fired or hired by Trump during the May 23 finale or in an earlier installment, Michaels’ representatives are still giving his music fans something to believe in. While his appearances scheduled through May 21 have already been postponed, Michaels’ other concert dates, including his summer tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, are going ahead as scheduled.
“At this time, we are planning to resume the tour May 26 in Ft. Smith, Ark., provided there are no further complications or setbacks,” said a statement posted Thursday on Michaels’ website by his tour manager, Janna Elias. “We will then continue with all scheduled dates throughout the summer and fall, including the June and July tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd.”
It certainly wouldn’t be Michaels’ first comeback tour. After glam-rock was edged out in the 1990s, the “Unskinny Bop” singer found renewed fame on reality TV. He starred as a judge on the third season of USA’s singing contest ‘Nashville Star’ in 2005, then as the bad-boy bachelor looking for lust on VH1’s tawdry dating show ‘Rock of Love’ from 2007 to 2009.
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