updated 05/06/2010 AT 7:30 AM ET
•originally published 05/05/2010 AT 4:00 PM ET
Bret Michaels may have just spent 10 days in the ICU, but the rock star isn’t complaining. Instead, he says he’s feeling “lucky to be alive.”
In the new issue of PEOPLE, Michaels, 47, who suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding at the base of his brain stem) on April 21, speaks for the first time about his ordeal, including a dramatic moment when he first arrived at the hospital.
In the emergency room, the rocker – dad to Raine, 9, and Jorja, 5 – recalls being asked by a doctor if he had kids, and the doctor telling him to have them brought to the hospital. “And I said in these exact words, ‘Am I dying? If I’m dying, I want to see my kids, but if I have a chance, I don’t want them to see me in this condition.’ “
Michaels is currently at a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy, and is expected to make a full recovery – something his doctor says only occurs in 10 to 20 percent of all cases.
To hear more from Michaels and girlfriend Kristi Gibson about the critical minutes after the hemorrhage, the agonizing moments in the hospital and how this brush with death might just change his rock-of-love life, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday