Docs Discover Hole in Bret Michaels' Heart After "Warning" Stroke

Ailing rocker in good condition after latest health setback

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 31: Music artist Bret Michaels (L) and drummer Chuck Fanslau perform during the kickoff of the "Rock of Love Bus Tour" at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort January 31, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Bret Michaels suffered a small "warning stroke" Thursday that sent him to the hospital where doctors discovered the ailing rocker has a hole in his heart.

    The setback was the latest in a string of medical issues the Poison front-man and "Celebrity Apprentice" star has faced recently, and comes just a day after Michaels expressed gratitude on Oprah for recovering from a brain hemorrhage.

    According to his website, Michaels felt numbness on the left side of his body which doctors later diagnosed as a symptom of a minor stroke known as a Transient Ischemic Attack. Later, a battery of tests showed he had a hole in heart -- a condition known as Patent Forum Ovale.

    "There is no doubt that the positive Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is devastating news to Bret and his family," said his neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Zabramski. "The good news is that it is operable and treatable and we think we may have diagnosed the problem that caused the Transient Ischemic Attach (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."

    The doctor suggested Michaels stable condition was due to the fact "that he quickly reacted to the severe numbness and got to the hospital immediately."

    Though Michaels, 47, is said to be in good spirits and walking, his medical team dampened hopes that he would make his planned return the "Celebrity Apprentice" finale on Sunday and his concert schedule by May 28th.

    "Without a doubt he is very determined to get healthy and make a 100% recovery," Dr. Zabramski said. "Medically speaking it is a fantastic attitude both mentally and physically for him to have. However, Bret's brain and body are not quite 100% yet, especially with the hole found in his heart."

    Michaels will not be required to stay at the hospital and will be treated with daily blood thinner and further testing.

    His spokesperson, Janna Elias, assured fans Michaels was "in great medical hands" and expressed his gratitude for the continued support.

    "Even though these last few months have been tough on him and his family, especially this most recent setback, he is in good spirits, great medical hands and is positive and hopeful that everything is going to be OK," Elias said. "He is up, walking, talking, continuing his daily rehab and very happy to be alive but he has made it clear he is sick and tired of being in the hospital and is ready to rock again."