Recovery from the kind of brain injury suffered by Poison singer Bret Michaels requires patience and very careful monitoring. And according to his sister, the rocker is making slow but steady progress.
"He's doing good," said sibling Michelle Sychak in an interview with the Omaha, Nebraska-based "Todd N Tyler Radio Empire" morning-radio show on Wednesday.
Michelle said her brother's speech was good, considering the seriousness of the brain hemorrhage he suffered last Thursday. "Things are definitely looking up. ... He sounded good — as good as you can when your brain's throbbing," she said. "He seems very coherent to me and like he knew what he was saying. ... [He] does sound like Bret. Truth be told, I think he'll outlive us all." She spoke to him recently and said, though he's stable, her brother is still in the intensive care unit.
Earlier reports indicated that Michaels was suffering from slow or slurred speech as a result of the buildup of blood at the base of his brain. He continues to be hospitalized at an unnamed clinic in the intensive care unit.
"He's doing good," she said. "He's not by any means out of the woods, but he is getting better every day." She said the fact that Michaels lived through the initial rupture was "a miracle in itself. I've never known anyone that dodged so many bullets in their life, both figuratively and literally."
Despite speculation that a staging mishap that resulted in Michaels being hit by a curtain at the 2009 Tony Awards might have caused the injury, she said doctors may never know what caused the rupture.
The news came a day after Michaels' road manager, Janna Elias, posted a note on the rocker's website indicating that, "Provided there are no further complications or setbacks," Michaels, 47, could be back out on the road in time for a May 26 date in Fort Smith, Arkansas. "I think good news is around the corner," she said.
"Even though yesterday was a minor setback, doctors remain hopeful for a full recovery and plan to release more specific information next Monday," Elias wrote, referring to a not uncommon side effect of the brain hemorrhage called hyponatremia, a lack of sodium in the body that can lead to seizures. Doctors told Michaels he "is very lucky, as his condition could have been fatal," she wrote.
"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," she said.
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