Rosie O’Donnell recently shared a near-death experience she had over a decade ago during a podcast appearance. She considers herself fortunate to have survived a widowmaker heart attack in 2012, despite initially ignoring her symptoms. O’Donnell explained the terrifying incident, which took place in New York, when she was 50 years old.
At the time, O’Donnell was visiting a friend undergoing chemotherapy when she noticed a woman struggling to get out of her car in the parking lot. O’Donnell decided to help, but it took longer than expected, leaving her arms in pain. She brushed it off as a result of the exertion and continued with her day.
Later, while in her art studio, O’Donnell’s young son remarked that she looked like a ghost. Concerned, O’Donnell went online to research heart attack symptoms in women. Although she recognized some of the signs, she didn’t immediately take them seriously.
Days later, O’Donnell visited her therapist, but the possibility of having a heart attack began to cross her mind. Eventually, she struggled to climb stairs and took two baby aspirin before going to sleep. The next day, her family insisted she see a doctor.
O’Donnell went to a cardiologist instead of the emergency room, not wanting to take up resources if it wasn’t necessary. However, during her visit, she was informed that she had already experienced a “massive heart attack” and that she was currently having another one. Shocked by the news, she was quickly sent to the emergency room.
Doctors discovered that O’Donnell had “100 percent” blockage in her left anterior descending artery, aka the “widowmaker.” This is the artery that often leads to fatal heart attacks. Luckily, they were able to insert a stent and save her life.
Reflecting on her experience, O’Donnell expressed frustration with the lack of awareness surrounding heart attack symptoms in women. She noted that despite more women dying from heart attacks than men, representation in media often showcases men experiencing heart attacks.
In conclusion, Rosie O’Donnell shared her life-threatening experience with a widowmaker heart attack, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the different symptoms women may experience. She considers herself lucky to have survived and hopes to raise awareness about heart health amongst women.