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Ten days after Quicken Loans Inc. Chairman Dan Gilbert had a stroke, the 57-year-old billionaire remains in the hospital, focused on "constant improvement," according to his company's CEO.

Gilbert, who has invested billions into the city of Detroit's comeback, went to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak on May 25 because he was feeling poorly. He had a stroke while at the hospital early the following morning, Quicken Loans officials have said.

"Dan’s family is happy to share that he maintains his strong sense of humor and focus on constant improvement," Quicken CEO Jay Farner said in a statement Wednesday. "In fact, a few days ago, Dan requested his favorite beverage. When the hospital staff informed him they were not able to provide it, in the humorous tone Dan is known for, he insisted that a review of the hospital’s beverage best-practices be completed.

"To be clear, Dan’s recovery is a process that will take time — but we are all confident that he will meet this challenge head on as he always does."

Few details have been offered on Gilbert's diagnosis or prognosis. A day following his stroke, Farner said Gilbert underwent a "catheter-based procedure" and added the day after that he was "improving by the hour."

A stroke occurs when blood supply is blocked to the brain or a vessel in the brain ruptures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brain cells begin to die because of the lack of oxygen and can lead to brain damage, disability or death. Symptoms of stroke can include difficulties with speaking, walking, seeing, paralysis on one side of the body or a sudden headache.

It is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and can result in serious disability in adults. Stroke patients often spend a couple of weeks in the hospital to recover and for rehabilitation, which usually continues in outpatient settings. A majority of recovery typically occurs within three to six months with ongoing recovery through one year following the stroke.

Part of Detroit's turnaround has been credited to Gilbert's investment in the city's central business district. Gilbert's Bedrock real estate firm and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion in its efforts to help revitalize Detroit.

Gilbert moved his employees from Livonia and other suburbs to a Detroit headquarters starting in 2010. Now, Gilbert's Rock Family of Companies employs 17,000 people downtown.

The Franklin businessman bought other companies and provided funding for startups, helping those firms fill the more than 100 buildings he bought and oftentimes renovated around the city in his bid to help transform Detroit into a "great American city." He also has envisioned turning the city into a technology hub and has succeeded in luring local offices for Google and Twitter.

Some have expressed concerns that Gilbert's illness could cause delays for his various high-profile projects such as the skyscraper scheduled to be built along Woodward Avenue on the old Hudson's department store site.

Quicken Loans Vice Chairman Bill Emerson addressed those concerns last week during the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference, saying: "We know what the mission is. We know what to do.”

Farner also thanked community members Wednesday for their outpouring of support.

"Dan Gilbert and his family," Farner wrote, "are beyond grateful for the thoughts and well wishes from so many people as they focus on Dan’s recovery."

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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