Bret Michaels Back in the Hospital After Suffering 'Warning Stroke'

Doctors find hole in Bret Michaels' heart after he suffers "warning stroke."

ByABC News
May 20, 2010, 1:52 PM

May 20, 2010 — -- A tragic turn of events has landed Bret Michaels back in the hospital.

The 47-year-old Poison rocker/reality TV star has been hospitalized after suffering a "warning stroke" known as a transient ischemic attack, according to a statement posted on his website Thursday afternoon. The attack left Michaels numb on the left side of his body, predominately his face and hands.

Tests conducted on Michaels following his hospitalization revealed more sad news: he has a patent forum ovale -- medical speak for a hole in his heart. But Michaels' doctor, Joseph Zambraski, believes the star can recover.

"The good news is that [the hole] is operable and treatable and we think we may have diagnosed the problem that caused the transient ischemic attack (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," Zambraski said in a statement posted on Michaels' website.

Zambraski said that until he decides how to treat Michaels' heart condition, he will give him outpatient care, including daily injections of the blood thinner Lovenox and blood tests.

Michaels' turn in health comes a day after he appeared on "Oprah" for his first TV interview since suffering a brain hemorrhage that left him clinging to life.

"It sounded like a small handgun went off in the back of my head," Michaels said about the hemorrhage that he endured April 21. "It felt like a pop. They call it a thunderclap. ... It's like a migraine times 10. It ran from my temple down to the back of my skull. I knew something was wrong."

While Michaels was stricken with massive pain, as his girlfriend and mother of their two children, Kristi Gibson, pulled up to the emergency room, he was able to comprehend a doctor's grave advice.

"I overheard the doctor telling Kristi, 'If you have children, you should bring them to the hospital now,'" Michaels said.

Michaels wiped away tears as his oldest daughter, Raine, 9, told Oprah Winfrey what was going through her head when her dad was rushed to the hospital.

"The scariest part was just like thinking, my dad could die tonight. All these memories flashed," she said. "To think that my dad wouldn't be growing up with me, that my dad wouldn't be walking down the aisle. ..."

Michaels said while in the hospital, he asked God to keep him alive so he could be a father to Raine and her sister, Jorja, 5.

"I was doing a lot of asking at that point," he said. "'I know I've done a lot of rotten things, I'm asking for a break here. If you can cut me a break this time, I promise I'll be better in the future.'"

But of course, as the frontman of a world famous glam rock band, he had some more superficial concerns as well -- he kept his signature bandana on throughout the ordeal, even while laying in the hospital bed.

"I said, 'If I'm going out, I want to go out rockin','" Michaels told Winfrey. "Some form of a bandana or cape, if I could go out right. Not in that hospital gown."