The Difference Between Life And Death: Bret Michaels’ And Gary Coleman’s Brain Hemorrhages


Posted on 2nd June 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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The New York Daily News Wednesday posed a question that may have crossed many people’s minds: Why did former child star Gary Coleman die last week of a brain hemorrhage, while rocker Bret Michaels lived?

Coleman, who had a lifelong history of health problems, suffered an intracranial brain hemorrhage when he slipped and fell in his Utah home last Wednesday after undergoing his usual dialysis treatment. Only 42 years old, Coleman went into a coma in the hospital on Thursday, and his family ended his life support on Friday.

Michaels, on the other hand, was at his Arizona home when he suddenly felt an incredible pain in his head. His wife rushed the singer to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage. After some shakey moments, 47-year-old Michaels pulled through, and appeared on the finale of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which he won.

Reporter Rosemary Black explains the difference between the two brain hemorrhages. An intracranial hemorrhage takes place inside the brain, while a subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding into the lining around the brain.

Black interviewed physicians who said that the location of brain hemorrhage will determine if it will kill or not, if it will disable a patient in some way, or if they will fully recover. Of course, that’s just common sense: If the part of your brain that controls your breathing is damaged,  let’s face it, it’s unlikely you’re going to have a good outcome. 

One doctor added that Coleman’s poor health, he had two kidney transplants during his life and was on dialysis, likely made his prognosis grim after his brain injury. 

But then Michaels wasn’t a particularly well man. He had just had his appendix removed and he was a lifelong diabetic. And I believe that Michaels’ physician is jumping the gun by telling the press that the singer has fully recovered, that he is part of the small group of people — only 20 percent — who bounce back like new from this type of brain hemorrhage. 

I have written extensively on my blog,, about apparent full recovery brain injury. Problems can develop later on with people who have sustained brain injury and appear to be back to normal. For example, those who have jobs that require their minds to have a high processing speed may find it harder to claim “full recovery” than those with less taxing jobs.  

And in a recent interview Michaels himself said, “I’m just not back to where I want to be just yet.”

 He performed Memorial Day weekend, and in the interview said, “On stage, normally, I go completely insane and kick ass. This time, I gave 100 percent of my 75 percent.” 









Singer Bret Michaels’ Fight To Stay Conscious During Brain Hemorrhage Likely Saved His Life


Posted on 3rd May 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Singer Bret Michaels’ fought to stay conscious when he suffered a brain hemorrhage, so his family wouldn’t find him lying sprawled on the floor, and that action probably saved the blond singer’s life, according to his doctor in Arizona.!/notes/bret-michaels/representatives-confirm-michaels-is-being-treated-at-barrow-neurological-institu/390848012569

But Michaels is still in serious condition, according to his physican.

Michaels’ camp Friday night on Facebook finally disclosed exactly where the Poison frontman is hospitalized and being treated:  the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Barrow is a  leading neurological center, as well as home of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

Michaels’ neurologists and neurosurgeons will hold a press conference Tuesday to dicuss his condition, treatment and prognosis.

Michaels’ Facebook page, which notes that the singer appears in People Magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful People of 2010 Issue this week, said with his subarachnoid hemorrhage was such a  life-threatening condition, and out of respect for his family, his location was kept secret.

There is a seven to 10 day perod “that is extremely critical in which multiple tests are conducted to detect the source of the bleeding,” the Facebook pages says.

 “There is no doubt that Mr. Michaels’ condition is serious,” said Dr. Joseph Zabamski,  who has been a top neurosurgeon at Barrow since 1986, serves as the Chief of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Director of Clinical Neurosurgical Research, and is leading Michaels’ team.

” We are treating the subarachnoid hemorrhage, which caused his severe cranial pain,” Zabamski said on the Facebook  update. “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.”

But the doctor added, “Bret’s sheer will to live and fully recover is undeniable. He has an unbelievable fight in him and told me what kept him alive at the moment of the hemorrhage was that he did not want his family to wake up and see him lying unconscious in the middle of the floor. It was a combination of Bret’s fight to stay conscious during the hemorrhage and get to the emergency room, and the immediate medical attention provided by our staff at Barrow that enabled us to stabilize his condition.”

Tomorrow, on Tuesday,  Barrow neurologists and neurosurgeons will hold a press conference to offer an update on his condition, treatment and prognosis in full detail.


Singer Bret Michaels Has Setback That Could Lead To Seizures


Posted on 28th April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Rocker Bret Michaels, stricken with a brain hemorrhage, has taken a turn for the worse, according to a medical update posted on his Facebook page Tuesday night.

 “Test results indicate a setback in Bret Michaels condition a side effect from the brain hemorrhage called hyponatremia a lack of sodium in the body which leads to seizures,” Tuesday’s message said.

The update was very detailed about Michaels, who has been hospitalized in critical condition in an intensive care unit since late last Thursday. He is under 24-hour observation but in “positive spirits,” according to the update.

 The message also said that although in critical condition, Michaels is stable.

 “Even though today was a minor setback doctors remain hopeful for a full recovery and plan to release more specific information next Monday,” the Facebook posting said.

 The update noted that CNN’s “Larry King Live” did a sho won Michaels’ earlier in the week. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said that the subarachnoid hemorrhage that Michaels suffered is an aneurysm in one of the blood vessels. He said that about 10 percent of people with that condition don’t survive; another quarter of people don’t make it through the first couple of days in the hospital; and 30 percent make a full recovery.

”Michaels’ medical workup demonstrated findings of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke that causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain,” Michaels’ Facebook page says.

 “It presents itself suddenly as the sound of a loud gunshot or thunderclap at the back of the head causing severe cranial pain and muscle spasms,” the posting said. “Many people are speculating Michaels head injury suffered from a prop striking the singer at the Tony awards last June is the cause.”

 Michaels will undergo tests this week to try to find the exact cause of the rupture. Since the singer is a lifelong Type 1 diabetic, and recently underwent emergency appendectomy surgery while on tour in San Antonio, he will remain monitored closely by his medical team to make sure no complications occur from the diabetes.

The medical update says that the most common cause of Michaels’ hemorrhage is a spontaneous rupture of a cerebral aneurysm, but “that 15 to 20 percent of spontaneous episodes of this hemorrhage are found to have no cause.”

  Michaels has undergone a continuous series of tests while in the ICU including angiograms, CT scans, MRI’s and transcranial dopplers (TCD’s).

 “Doctors state Michaels is very lucky as his condition could have been fatal,” the Facebook posting said. “With further testing and rehabilitation, they are hopeful that Bret will gradually improve as the blood surrounding the brain dissolves and is reabsorbed into his system, which can be a very painful recovery and take several weeks to months.”

 Michaels is responding well to tests and treatments, according to the Facebook posting.

 The message noted that CNN’s “Larry King Live” did a show this week about Michaels, where Donald Trump talked about the Poison frontman, who is a contestant on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”

 “Bret is very likable guy, down to earth and a solid person,” Trump said. “Out of all the people from ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ I may have had the best kind of off-camera relationship with him over the three years.”

 Trump also said Michaels is a good father, and that he is concerned for the singer’s health.

What The Medical Experts Say About Rocker Bret Michaels’ Prognosis After Brain Hemorrhage


Posted on 27th April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 Rocker and reality TV star Bret Michaels remained in an Intensive Care Unit Tuesday under 24-hour surveillance as doctors try to find the source of the bleeding in his brain. How the “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant does during the next few days is crucial.

 In the meantime, there have been many press stories theorizing, or interviewing physicians, about what caused the Poison frontman’s subarachnoid hemorrhage last Thursday night, and what his prognosis is for the future.

 Updates about Michaels’ condition are being posted on his Facebook page.!/notes/bret-michaels/bret-michaels-update-42610/389241632569

 “Once again we can’t thank everyone enough for all the well wishes and prayers being sent Bret’s way!” the page said Tuesday morning. “Look for an official medical report from doctors this week at Please remember Bret is, and always has been, a fighter and survivor and is under the best medical care possible.”

 “Reportedly, Bret Michaels didn’t sustain any trauma,” Rob Brouhard wrote on “He just started bleeding near his brain stem. It has been reported that doctors aren’t exactly sure what caused the bleeding, but the overwhelming speculation is that Michaels had a brain aneurysm, one version of a stroke.”

 Brouhard defined an aneurysm as a “soft spot” in a blood vessel that ruptures if pressure gets high or there is a blow to that area.

 AOL Health spoke to Dr. Jeffrey Thomas, spokesman for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, about what might be causing Michaels’ bleeding. Thomas said it could be due to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, a dissection of a cerebral blood vessel or the bleeding of a vein.|main|dl3|link4|

 The physician said that “the most benign” of those three possibilities would be bleeding from a vein. Recovery is a snap. But a dissection or tear of a blood vessel, or an aneurysm, would not bode well for Michaels.

 Published reports have said that Michaels has fuzzy vision, dizziness and slurred speech since he was hospitalized late Thursday after getting a agonizing headache.  

 Michaels is diabetic, and had an emergency appendectomy earlier this month. There was initially some speculation that Michaels’ brain hemorrhage was somehow related to the surgery.

 But in a story in the New York Daily News Tuesday, several doctors dismissed the notion that the surgery could have directly had caused the bleeding in Michaels’ brain.

 One doctor said that high blood pressure is the most common cause of brain hemorrhages. Another said that Michaels’ may have developed a blood clot in his leg after his surgery and been put on blood thinners, which could have prompted the bleeding in his brain. turned to a stroke expert about Michaels’ bleeding at the base of his skull. That physician, Dr. Joseph Broderick, said that while the rocker’s condition is serious, it is survivable.  

Singer Bret Michaels In Serious Condition After Suffering Massive Brain Hemorrhage

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Posted on 23rd April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Rocker and reality TV star Bret Michaels was in critical condition Friday after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage, according to People Magazine.,,20363506,00.html

 The Poison frontman and Celebrity Apprentice contestant was rushed to an undisclosed hospital late Thursday night after he had “an excruciating headache,” People, which broke the story, reported.

Doctors determined that Michaels had suffered a massive  subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding at the base of his brain stem, People quoted a source close to the situation as saying.

Michaels, 47, is currently in critical condition.

 “After several CAT scans, MRIs and an angiogram, [doctors] decided to keep Michaels in the ICU and are running several tests to determine the cause. [It] will be touch and go for the next few days while he is under intense observation,” People quoted the source as saying.

The magazine said that Michaels’ representatives had confirmed the accuracy of the report, but wouldn’t comment until more testing was performed on Michaels.

Michaels was hospitalized earlier this month, on April 12 in San Antonio, Texas, for an emergency appendectomy. It’s not known if his current brain injury is related to that surgery or to Michaels’ diabetes.

Michaels had been under doctor’s supervision as recently as Wednesday, according to his own website, following his appendectomy. The singer, a Type 1 diabetic, was transferred to a private facility for diabetic patients after his surgery.

Michaels is considered a frontrunner to win Celebrity Apprentice