The actress Susan Lucci, well known for her enduring performance as Erica Kane on ABC’s All My Children, disclosed that she had undergone a second emergency cardiac operation.
The 75-year-old soap opera legend spoke out to Amy Robach about her struggle with heart illness during an appearance with Good Morning America on Monday.
The Emmy-winning actress described the signs that made her seek medical attention, which included back and ribcage pain, as “sort of a shortness of breath.”
She claimed that after that, she had the following thought: “This is crazy.” “There is no way that I could be experiencing the same symptoms as I did three years ago.”
“But as soon as I slept down, I began to have a strong, intermittent ache in my jaw,” the mother-of-two recalled, adding that her husband, Helmut Huber, advised her to call a doctor.
Additional tests revealed that Lucci had 80% blockage in one of her arteries from plaque accumulation, requiring a stent installation operation.
Lucci’s physician, Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, told the network that “she wasn’t experiencing a heart attack this time, and she wasn’t unstable.”
She did, however, exhibit symptoms that made me worry that something might be wrong.
The best-selling author was commended by Shlofmitz for moving quickly to get a professional assessment because delaying could have resulted in a “serious emergency.”
Viewers were exhorted by Lucci to “listen to your heart and act on [the symptoms] .””Allow yourself the freedom to look after your needs. Be your closest companion. Defend your own interests. You’ll end up surviving.”
She experienced a heart attack that was close to being deadly four years ago and became known as “The Widowmaker” after first ignoring pressure in her chest.
Lucci first experienced acute chest problems around Halloween 2018, which prompted her to see a doctor.
At the time, she told People, “It felt like an elephant pressing down on my chest.”
Following a professional consultation, she learned that her primary artery was approximately 90% blocked, in addition to another branch that was 70% blocked.
Lucci told the magazine, “Ninety percent blockage—I was startled. I’m grateful to be alive.”
If Lucci hadn’t sought treatment right after, “she could have suffered a serious heart attack or possibly sudden death,” according to the star’s physician Dr. Holly Andersen, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Lucci, a supporter of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, made the decision to share her experience in order to raise awareness of heart health, especially for women.
As a woman, you consider breast cancer rather than a heart attack, the celebrity said. “Each EKG I had was excellent.” My blood pressure was below the normal range.”
“We frequently put ourselves last, she admitted. However, if your body is trying to tell you something, we should pay attention.”
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