Diabetes Forecast

Bret Michaels Has "Warning Stroke," Hole in the Heart

By Katie Bunker ,

Rocker and reality-show star Bret Michaels was readmitted to the hospital this week after having a "warning stroke," and tests also showed a hole in his heart, according to updates on his website. Michaels's doctor says the hole in his heart is "operable and treatable," and he is now receiving outpatient care.

Michaels, the lead vocalist for the metal band Poison, is scheduled to appear on the live season finale of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice this Sunday, May 23. It was unclear whether the medical setback would keep him from being on the show, where he is competing to win $250,000 for the American Diabetes Association as one of two finalists in the season-long contest. Michaels has had type 1 diabetes since age 6.

His neurologist, Joseph Zabramski, MD, said it was "highly unlikely" that the small stroke, or transient ischemic attack, was related to a brain hemorrhage for which Michaels, 47, was hospitalized April 22. Zabramski has said Michaels was expected to fully recover from the subarachnoid hemorrhage, bleeding at the base of the brain. Doctors never discovered the cause of the bleeding, which they said is usually the case in patients who successfully recover from that type of hemorrhage.

"Without a doubt he is very determined to get healthy and make a 100 percent recovery," Zabramski says on the website. "However, Bret's brain and body are not quite 100 percent yet, especially with the hole found in his heart."

Michaels's representative, Janna Elias, says on the site that he is optimistic that his life will return to normal soon. "He is up, walking, talking, continuing his daily rehab, and very happy to be alive," Elias said, "but he has made it clear he is sick and tired of being in the hospital and is ready to rock again."

The rocker was scheduled to resume his "Roses and Thorns" concert tour on May 28. The tour, promoting a solo album, Custom Built, due out in June, was put on hold when Michaels had an emergency appendectomy in early April. There was no word on when Michaels will be able to start touring again.



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