Bret Michaels, who remains hospitalized in "serious" condition, fought to live as his brain hemorrhage struck, saying he "did not want his family to wake up and see him lying unconscious in the middle of the floor," his neurosurgeon said, according to a new statement.
"Bret's sheer will to live and fully recover is undeniable," the e-mail statement by Michaels' publicist quoted Dr. Joseph M. Zabramski as saying. "He has an unbelievable fight in him."
Zabramski, the leader of the team treating Michaels at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, serves as the chief of cerebrovascular surgery and director of clinical neurosurgical research at the center.
"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," Zabramski said.
The location of the 47-year-old reality TV star and former Poison frontman's treatment for his subarachnoid hemorrhage -- bleeding at the base of his brain stem suffered late in the evening of Thursday, April 22 -- had been a secret but was identified in the statement e-mailed today by Michael's publicist, Joann Mignano, and posted Friday on bretmichaels.com.
"Due to the severity of his life threatening condition, the instantaneous way in which the hemorrhage presented itself and respect for his family his location [initially] was not confirmed to the media," the statement said.
Barrow neurologists and neurosurgeons will speak to reporters at 12 p.m. Tuesday to outline Michaels' condition, treatment and prognosis in greater detail, the statement added.
"There is no doubt that Mr. Michaels' condition is serious," Zabramski is quoted as saying in the statement. "We are treating the subarachnoid hemorrhage, which caused his severe cranial pain."
Prior statements as recently as Thursday described Michaels' condition as "critical" rather than "serious." Even so, Zabramski suggested Michaels still has a tough road ahead.
"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," Zabramski said.
Michaels' hyponatremia, defined by abnormally low levels of salt in the blood can lead to seizures and brain swelling, was disclosed in a statement posted Tuesday on Michaels' website.
Neurologists said it is overwhelmingly likely that the complication arose from Michaels' brain bleed.
"It is not at all unexpected that Mr. Michaels has hyponatremia," said Dr. Wendy Wright, an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and a specialist in hyponatremia after brain injury. "There are several potential causes that tend to involve chemical imbalances in the brain, leading to either a slight increase in total body fluid -- making the relative amount of sodium in the body seem lower -- or a loss of sodium in the urine."