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HOME > The Apprentice > The Celebrity Apprentice 3

Bret Michaels: I wasn't prepared to die after brain hemorrhage


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/20/2010 

Bret Michaels was scared that his life was about to end when he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage late last month.

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"My life didn't flash before my eyes. It wasn't like all of a sudden there was a rerun of my life. What happen was I got very sad. I went into asking God, 'You've got to let me live through this.' I could tell by how fast everyone was moving around that something was bad," said Michaels during a Wednesday appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

"I was doing a lot of asking at that point. I was like, 'I know I've done a lot of rotten things. I'm asking for a break here. If you could cut me a break just this time, I promise I'll be better in the future.' It happened so fast, thinking this could be it, I wasn't prepared for it. I really wasn't."

The former Rock of Love star and current The Celebrity Apprentice participant -- who has diabetes -- suffered the subarachnoid hemorrhage on April 21 while recovering from an emergency appendectomy.

"It sounded like a small handgun went off in the back of my head. The first feeling I had -- because I just had an emergency appendectomy eight or nine days earlier, that's why I was home off the road -- all of a sudden I just started moving around, and boom, there was just this explosion around 11 o'clock at night," recalled Michaels.

"They call it a thunderclap. I've never had a headache instantaneously like that in my entire life. The word's not even a headache -- it's like a migraine times 10."

Michaels said he then went into "survival mode" and instantly woke up girlfriend Kristi Gibson so she could drive him to the emergency room.

"The pain had gotten severely worse. On our drive there, it felt like an eternity," explained Michaels.

"By the time we got there I did not want to get out of the vehicle. My head hurt so bad. All I could do was just hold my head. I told Kristi, 'Don't get anybody. Just let me sit here.' That's the worst thing you can do. That's how a lot of people who have this happen pass away. They try to sleep through it or they're in so much pain they don't want to do anything."

Michaels was rushed into the hospital where doctors ran a CAT scan, and he said he really knew something was wrong when the number of people tending to him suddenly swelled.

He added the whole ordeal "put things in perspective real quickly" -- especially concerning his two young daughters.

"It gave me this unsinkable strength and amazing courage to want to survive. The strength from thinking about my kids, my family, my best friends -- the people that are so important in your life," he said. "It really puts it in perspective."

Michaels is currently recovering at his Arizona home and 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.

"The recovery process for me, I asked them to up to two rehabs a day," he told Winfrey.

"I'm having a little trouble moving my lower extremities. It's to be expected. I have a little bit of a trouble with my neck, it's very stiff. The headaches are still there, they said that's to be expected at least a month after this happens. Each day it gets better."

Winfrey asked Michaels if he feels he has a larger purpose now in life because he got a second chance, and the former Poison frontman answered "absolutely."

"I don't know what that reason is just yet," he said. "I think of all the crazy things I've done in my life, I'm just very thankful to be here."

(Photo credit NBC)


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