Bret Michaels Gives First Interview About Brain Hemorrhage

We’ve heard from Bret Michaels’ father, sister and doctor. The Poison frontman has now spoken out for the first time about his experience suffering a brain hemorrhage and spending 10 days in the ICU.

Michaels, who is one of the last stars left standing on the reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice,” was home recovering from an April 12 emergency appendectomy when he was forced to return to the hospital April 22 after suffering what turned out to be much more than a severe headache.

Doctors diagnosed the singer with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which the Associated Press explains “causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain.”

During a news conference May 4, Michael’s attending physician, Dr. Joseph Zabramski of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, announced that the singer had been released from the hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

Photo: Rich Singer
Verizon Wirelesss Amphitheatre, Charlotte, N.C.

In a cover story that hits newsstands this Friday, Michaels tells People magazine that the hemorrhage “sounded like a handgun, like it literally popped” and that he thought a burglar had shot him in the back of the head.

“It made my mind go almost blank,” he said. “My neck tensed up. I couldn’t move my head at all.”

The singer said he then began pacing the living room in the Scottsdale, Ariz., house he shares with his girlfriend Kristi Gibson and their two daughters, 9-year-old Raine Elizabeth and 5-year-old Jorja Bleu.

“I knew I was slurring my words, and I was like ‘OK, this isn’t a headache. There’s something really bad happening,'” he said, explaining that he then asked Gibson to take him to the emergency room.

Michaels says that when he arrived at the hospital, a doctor asked if he had kids and then told him to bring his daughters to the hospital.

“And I said in these exact words, ‘Am I dying? If I’m dying, I want to see my kids, but if I have a chance, I don’t want them to see me in this condition.’ “

The singer says he is grateful he was forced to undergo the emergency appendectomy.

“It just wasn’t my time yet. I really believe that. If I had stayed on the couch for another hour, that probably would’ve done me in. In a weird way, God intervened: The appendicitis forced me to come home for a couple of days.”

After being released from intensive care, on April 30 Michaels entered a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy. Zabramski explained that his recovery will probably included another seven to 10 days of severe pain as blood pooled under his brain dissolves.

“At this point we’re feeling pretty confident that he does not have an aneurysm or problems with his blood vessels that would make a recurring hemorrhage,” the doctor said. “This is one of those rare instances where we’re pleased that we can’t find the cause of the bleed.”

After surviving the brain hemorrhage, Michaels says he wants to “continue to rock the world, and I want to continue to love my family and be a good father.”

The emergency appendectomy and brain hemorrhage forced Michaels to cancel several dates of his solo tour. Before he reschedules the gigs, his doctor recommended that the singer take at least four to six weeks off the road before returning to his regularly scheduled program of rockin’ out.

Click here for the AP story. 

Click here for the People magazine story.