Gary Coleman on Life Support After Suffering Brain Hemorrhage
SALT LAKE CITY – Former child TV star Gary Coleman is on life support and unconscious after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage at his home, his family said Friday.
Coleman suffered the hemorrhage Wednesday at his Santaquin home, 55 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center released the statement on behalf of Coleman's family.
It also says Coleman, 42, was conscious and lucid until midday Thursday, when his condition worsened and he slipped into unconsciousness. Coleman was then placed on life support.
"At this critical moment, we can only ask for your thoughts and prayers for Gary to make a speedy and full recovery," the family statement said.
Coleman has had continuing ill health from a kidney disease he suffered as a child. He had at least two kidney transplants and has ongoing dialysis.
SLIDESHOW: 'Child Actor Gary Coleman
An ambulance was called to Coleman's home Wednesday, and he was initially transported to Mountain View Hospital in Payson, the nearest medical facility, said Dennis Howard, Santaquin's director of public safety.
The family statement says Coleman was later moved to the regional medical center in Provo for additional tests and treatment.
The hospital did not give details on Coleman's condition beyond calling it an intracranial hemorrhage, which is bleeding inside the head.
Dr. Jennifer Majersik, a stroke specialist and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Utah, said intracranial hemorrhages can be broken vessels within the brain itself or next to it. Majersik, who is not involved in Coleman's treatment and is unfamiliar with the case, said the most serious types involve a broken vessel inside the brain.
Hemorrhaging can also occur on the surface of the brain or in the protective layers between the brain and the skull, Majersik said.
Coleman is best known for his stint on "Diff'rent Strokes," which aired from 1978 to 1986.
Actor Conrad Bain, the man who played Coleman's father Philip Drummond on "Diff'rent Strokes" told TMZ he is "hoping and praying for his recovery."
Coleman moved to Utah in 2005 to star in the movie "Church Ball," a comedy based on basketball leagues formed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He met his wife Shannon Price on the movie set and married her in 2007.
Last fall, Coleman had heart surgery complicated by pneumonia, said his Utah attorney Randy Kester.
In February, Coleman also suffered a seizure on the set of "The Insider." Also in February, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge related to an April 2009 domestic violence incident at his home.
Coleman also had a string of financial and legal problems.
The family acknowledged his struggles in its statement, saying Coleman had had "difficulties not only with health issues, but also with his personal and public life."
"At times it may not have been apparent, but he always had fond memories of being an entertainer and appreciates his fans for all their support over the years," the family said.