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HOME > The Apprentice > The Celebrity Apprentice 3

Bret Michaels hospitalized after "warning stroke," heart hole found


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/21/2010 

Bret Michaels has hit a setback on his road to recovery.

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The former Rock of Love star and current The Celebrity Apprentice finalist was readmitted to the hospital this week after suffering a "warning stroke," according to a Thursday statement posted on his personal website.

The setback comes less than a month after Michaels suffered a massive brain hemorrhage while recovering from an emergency appendectomy, however Michaels' neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Zabramski stated it is "highly unlikely" the warning stroke is connected to the hemorrhage.

Michaels was readmitted to the hospital after "suffering numbness on the left side of his body, predominately his face and hands which doctors described as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or warning stroke," according to the statement.

An Ultrasound Bubble Test of his heart was subsequently conducted and revealed a Patent Forum Ovale (PFO), or hole in the heart.

"There is no doubt that the positive Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is devastating news to Bret and his family," stated Zabramski.

"The good news is that it is operable and treatable and we think we may have diagnosed the problem that caused the Transient Ischemic Attach (TIA) or warning stroke; however we feel it is highly unlikely this is connected to the brain hemorrhage he suffered just a few weeks earlier. Once again it is great that he quickly reacted to the severe numbness and got to the hospital immediately."

It remains unclear whether Michaels -- who previously stated he hopes to attend The Celebrity Apprentice's live third-season finale on Sunday night, in which he is one of two finalists remaining along with actress Holly Robinson Peete -- will actually be in attendance due to the recent setback.

"I realize Bret wants to make a full recovery so that he can be active with his family, attempt to attend the finale of Celebrity Apprentice and especially get back on the road to continue making music. Without a doubt he is very determined to get healthy and make a 100% recovery," said Zabramski.

"Medically speaking it is a fantastic attitude both mentally and physically for him to have. However, Bret's brain and body are not quite 100% yet, especially with the hole found in his heart. Further tests will be conducted throughout the week and I will have more information next week as to how this Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) will be treated. For now, Bret will be treated with outpatient care which includes a daily injection of Lovenox (a blood thinner to reduce the chance of blood clots) and blood tests."

Michaels made a pre-taped satellite interview appearance on Wednesday's The Oprah Winfrey Show in which he stated he wasn't prepared to die after he suffered the subarachnoid hemorrhage on April 21.

"Bret wants everyone to know he cannot thank you enough for all of the well wishes, prayers, and good vibes you have sent his way," said Michaels' representative Janna Elias.

"Even though these last few months have been tough on him and his family, especially this most recent setback, he is in good spirits, great medical hands and is positive and hopeful that everything is going to be OK. He is up, walking, talking, continuing his daily rehab and very happy to be alive but he has made it clear he is sick and tired of being in the hospital and is ready to rock again."

(Photo credit NBC)


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