Poison frontman Bret Michaels, a type 1 diabetic, is recovering from a life-threatening medical emergency -- the 51-year-old rocker nearly passed out from low blood sugar at a solo concert in Manchester, New Hampshire and had to end the gig early.
Pete Evick, a guitarist in Michaels' side group Bret Michaels Band, revealed the news on Facebook.
"This is a message I never imagined I'd have to post," he wrote. "Tonight in Manchester, NH 3 songs into the set Bret had me sing a song as he rushed off stage. In the 9 years I've stood next to him, I've never seen a look like the one on his face as if I was a complete stranger. One of the crew returned instantly to notify me that Bret's blood sugar was extremely low."
"He returned to the stage only to announce that he could not continue," Evick said. "As you all know he is a health fanatic and fiercely monitors his blood sugar, he basically had to be dragged off the stage in his sickest of conditions. When I rushed to the bus he could barely speak, but begged me to apologize to the fans and seemed only concerned for them."
Evick later posted: "Sending a huge shout out to all the paramedics both on and off duty who have assisted Bret tonight. No words can thank you enough for your help."
UPDATE: Michaels' band has canceled the next concert that was set to take place on Friday in his home state of Pennsylvania. Doctors have also diagnosed the singer with several ailments that contributed to his low blood sugar.
People who suffer from type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, rely on synthetic insulin to regulate glucose levels in their blood. Michaels, who was diagnosed with the disease at age 6, checks his blood glucose level and injects himself with the substance, which healthy people produce naturally, several times a day to lower it. A diabetic would get incredibly ill if it is too high or too low. The latter condition could cause the person to go into insulin shock, become disoriented and slip into a coma.
Eating carbohydrates increases the level of glucose in a person's blood, while other illnesses and stress can also have the same effect. A person's blood sugar level can become too low if too many hours have passed in between meals -- which is why type 1 diabetics are encouraged to have snacks and glucose tablets handy, after drinking alcohol or after physical activity.
Bret Michaels' past health scares
Michaels, who is a father of two daughters, has suffered complications from his diabetes before as well as other major medical emergencies.
In 2007, Michaels told dlife.com, a website about type 1 diabetes, that back in the 1980s, when Poison started its rise to national fame, he went into insulin shock during a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
"I'll never forget it. I had a little touch of the flu and I'll never forget taking my shot and then forgetting to eat because I started seeing everyone backstage," he told dlife.com. "My lips were numb and I tried to fight through it and before we even got to the first solo, I was done. I started it and I went down and they came out and the next thing I knew, I woke up and I was in the emergency room in the hospital."
"And then it came out in the paper that Bret Michaels is a heroin junkie, is what they thought," he said.. "That's when I made my big announcement, I said, 'Look, I'm a juvenile diabetic, I am not a junkie and this is what happened and that's not what I want my fans to think."
At the 2009 Tony Awards, he was struck in the head by a piece of the stage's set after completing the song "Nothing But a Good Time" with Poison. In 2010, Michaels suffered a brain hemorrhage and weeks later, a stroke. He then underwent heart surgery to close a hole in his heart that doctors had found while treating him for the latter ailment. That year, he also underwent an emergency appendectomy.