"In most of our world, Bret's the hero, but in this situation, Kristi was the hero -- she saved his life," Pete Evick, the Poison frontman's guitarist and friend, told People. Gibson's ability to handle a health scare without panicking -- thanks to years of living with Michaels' diabetes -- may have helped the rock star through his crisis.
"I'm used to being calm, because of the times when his blood sugar has gone low, and if I freak out, he freaks out," said Gibson, 39.
She stayed with him throughout the April 21 ordeal, riding in the ambulance from an emergency room in Scottsdale, Ariz. to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix after a CAT scan revealed bleeding in 47-year-old Michaels' brain.
"I said, 'I'm not leaving his side,'" said Gibson. "I held his hand and told him, 'It's going to be okay.' Just from his eyes, you could tell how much pain he was in. I wanted to take away that pain so bad."
Michaels has called their 16-year on-and-off relationship "a positive work in progress." The couple has two daughters, Raine, 9, and Jorja, 5. Gibson said that, even as he fought for his life, all her boyfriend could think about was his family.
"He was just worried about me and the girls -- that's all he cared about," she said. "I was like don't worry about us, we'll be fine."
It's not yet clear if Michaels' renewed affection for Gibson will change his rock star lifestyle. The musician hosted three seasons of his dating reality show "Rock of Love" from 2007 to 2009, where scores of women competed for his affections. Michaels and Gibson were together from 1994 to 2005, and reportedly reunited some time after the last season of "Rock of Love," according to JAM! Music.
Michaels, who is out of the hospital and in a rehab facility, is expected to make a full recovery, but while he was in the emergency room, a doctor recommended he have his daughters brought to visit him.
"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,'" the singer said.