updated 05/21/2010 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/21/2010 AT 10:50 AM ET
Bret Michaels is definitely a man with a mission: After suffering a small warning stroke, the rocker still has his sights set on showing up at the May 23 finale of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice.
“As far as I know, Bret will be there unless his doctors tell him otherwise,” says his rep of Michaels, who would be facing off against Holly Robinson Peete in the final boardroom evaluation with Donald Trump.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that he will attend the finale,” continues the rep. “But ultimately, it’s up to his doctors.”
Earlier in the week, Michaels felt numbness in his arm, which he at first thought might be because of his rehabbing twice a day.
But when it persisted, he returned to Barrow Neurological Institute, where tests then revealed that he had experienced a stroke and that Michaels also has a hole in his heart. Both conditions are treatable and are not believed to be connected to his subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Can Fly in His Condition
Dr. Keith A. Siller, Medical Director, NYU Comprehensive Stroke Care Center says that it could be safe for Michaels to fly to the Apprentice finale, because he is on blood thinners to prevent further clots.
“Being on a blood thinner – which is one treatment that can be offered in the interim while they decide what to do [about the hole in his heart] – does give him some protection, so he probably could fly,” says Dr. Siller, who has not treated the rocker. “As long as he s on the blood thinners, that offers him significant protection against another stroke even with the hole not being closed.”
But whether Michaels should or not is another story.
“Without a doubt he is very determined to get healthy and make a 100 percent recovery. Medically speaking it is a fantastic attitude both mentally and physically for him to have,” neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Zabramski says on Michaels’s Web site. “However, Bret’s brain and body are not quite 100 percent yet, especially with the hole found in his heart.”
But Michaels does feel that he has survived his recent health crises for a reason.
“I don’t know what that purpose is exactly yet,” he told PEOPLE earlier this month. “Whether it means winning a lot of money for diabetes or it means just being a good dad, I feel very blessed.”
Hear Donald Trump s Thoughts on Michaels’s return to Celebrity Apprentice