Bret Michaels’ Lawsuit Over Tony Award Head Injury To Be Heard In New York


Posted on 10th July 2011 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Rocker and reality TV star Bret Michaels’ lawsuit against CBS and the producers of the Tony Award telecast will be heard in New York, according to The New York Times.  The producers had asked for the matter to be litigated in the Big Apple.

Michaels, the frontman for Poison and a winner of  “Celebrity Apprentice,” filed suit after he was hit in the head by a backdrop when he was leaving the stage after performing at the 2009 Tony Awards show. As The Times pointed out, Michaels at the time of the accident downplayed its seriousness, saying that he only got a fractured nose and a couple of stitches on his lip.

But in court papers, Michaels is now blaming that head injury for causing a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him in April 2010. The lawsuit also claims that CBS shouldn’t have televised the accident, which ended up as a clip that went viral on the Internet.

Last Tuesday U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles ruled that Michaels’ lawsuit should be handled in New York, where the witnesses and evidence in the case are located.  


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.” 









Rocker Bret Michaels Claims He’s Not Reckless For Attending ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Finale, Despite Brain Hemorrhage and Stroke


Posted on 22nd May 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized


No matter what seems to happen to Bret Michaels, you can’t seem to hold him down. But that may not be a good thing for the long-haired blond bandana-wearer.

Most recently the rocker defended his decision to forge forward and attend the live season finale of  “Celebrity Apprentice”  Sunday night, despite the fact that he’s suffered a brain hemorrhage, a stroke and learned he has a hole in his heart in recent weeks.

I wonder how wise his choice is to go ahead with “Celebrity Apprentice” so soon after the near-deadly brain injury he suffered not so long ago.,,20387520,00.html

Michaels’ spokeswoman posted a message on his website Friday seemingly to address fears that he is being too reckless with his health and should be resting and taking it easy, not flying to the Big Apple to do Donald Trump’s show.

“Bret is a very passionate person and refuses to live his life curled up in a ball wondering if or when something else might happen,” the Poison frontman’s spokesperson Janna Elias said in Friday’s statement.

Maybe he shouldn’t roll into a ball, but I think he should take it a little easier. 

Last week  Michaels, a lifelong diabetic, was briefly hospitalized for a small stroke, which came in the aftermath of a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him and left him in an ICU for more than a week. During his most recent hospital stay, tests also discovered that Michaels has a hole in his heart.

“No doubt these recent medical complications have been tough but he wants to continue to live his life, enjoy every day and get back on the road,” Elias said.  

Michaels is being closely watched by his physicians and is on blood thinners, according to his website.


Singer Bret Michaels Expected To Be Among 20 Percent That Recover From Special Brain Hemorrhage


Posted on 5th May 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 Rocker Bret Michaels is “extremely lucky,” being one of the minority of those who make a full recovery after having a subarachnoid hemorrhage, his doctor told reporters Tuesday.

 “At this point I can tell you that Mr. Michaels has been recently discharged,” said Dr. Joseph Zabramski, the neurosurgeon who treated the singer.

 “He continues to receive therapies and we are monitoring his laboratories daily and his medications daily,” the doctor said. “He is making a good recovery. I really expect that he will make a 100 percent recovery. He is one of those lucky people, the 20 percent who have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, who make a full and complete recovery.”

 Let’s hope that Zabramski, part of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, is correct in his prognosis for the 47-year-old singer and reality TV star. The frontman for Poison most likely will be able to return to compete on “Celebrity Apprentice,” where he’s been considered a frontrunner.

 Zabramski didn’t spare any of the medical details when he talked about Michaels, who was admitted to the hospital April 22 with a searing headache and neck pain. As it turned out, he had a dangerous brain hemorrhage.

 An edited transcript of Zabramski’s remarks on Michaels’ condition is posted on the Barrow facility’s Web Site, and it offers a very explicit explanation of Michaels’ treatment.

 Barrow is part of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Zabramski, perhaps a bit biased, called Barrow “the best center in the United States if you have a problem with your blood vessels.”

 After coming to the emergency room and being evaluated, Michaels was admitted to the hospital and doctors immediately started tests to find out the cause of the bleeding in his brain and whether he had a ruptured aneurysm, according to Zabramski.

 He showed reporters a slide of a CAT scan that was performed on Michaels’ brain, pointing out a white spot that he said was a blood clot.  

 “That is the blood that escaped from the vessels and clotted around the brain stem and that is what caused the severe headache and pain,” Zabramski explained at the press conference in Phoenix. “The reason this is so important is that 15-20 percent of patients will die as a result of the initial hemorrhage. The other patients, the ones that survive, their prognosis depends on the amount of blood that is spilled and what the cause is.”

 Michaels also was given a series of angiograms, and they didn’t detect any issues. “This is one of those rare instances in medicine where we are pleased not to be able to find out what caused a problem,” Zabramski said. 

 Michaels was lucky because “he survived the brain hemorrhage, got to the emergency room and then got here, to Barrow. And when I first saw him on the morning of his admission, he was still very lethargic, complaining of severe headache and pain and not fully aware of his surroundings. The great thing is that by the next morning he was fully aware of what was going on and his level of consciousness had returned to what we call normal,” according to Zabramski.

 The neurosurgeon didn’t tie Michaels’ hemorrhage to his recent emergency appendectomy or his diabetes.

 “At this point we were feeling pretty confident that Mr. Michaels does not have an aneurysm or any other problem with his blood vessels that could result in a recurrent hemorrhage,” Zabramski said.

 “At this point he should be celebrating, but at this point the blood from that blood clot in his brain had begun to dissolve,” Zabramski went on. “He was about seven days after the hemorrhage and as these blood products from the clot break down they are very irritating to the coverings of the brain and the spinal cord. This causes what we call chemical meningitis. This chemical meningitis can be severely painful and causes back pain and increased spasms. We could not treat him as we would many of the patients we treat because of his diabetes. For instance for many patients, we would put them on steroids, but he is a diabetic.

So Michaels had to go on and suffer pain and discomfort.

 “But he is improving and he will continue to gradually improve,” Zabramski said. “It takes about seven to 10 days more from now that this blood will resolve and he will really begin to feel like he is on the mend and he can resume all of his activities.”

 Kudos to Michaels for his will to live, his luck and his spirit. Even if he wins “Celebrity Apprentice,” that victory will pale next to his survival in Phoenix.

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.