On Monday, legendary soap opera actress Susan Lucci revealed she underwent emergency heart surgery just a few weeks ago – she had heart surgery for the first time in 2018. She decided to contact her doctor when she started experiencing similar symptoms as before.
“I thought, ‘This is crazy. These are the same kind of symptoms that I had three years ago but it can’t be. But when I lay down, I started to feel a sharp coming-and-going pain in my jaw,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America, adding she felt shortness of breath and pain.
Doctors identified an 80% blockage in her heart as a result of calcium and cholesterol before rushing her to the emergency room – they placed a stent in it. Back in 2018, she had a 90% blockage in the main artery and a 75% blockage in an adjacent artery, which they also fixed.
Despite the shortness of breath – as well as the pain in her ribcage and back – the former daytime television actress has recovered well over the past couple weeks and is determined to prevent this from happening again by paying more attention to her body and overall health.
Susan Lucci did the right thing by contacting her doctor right away – as her doctor put it, she would’ve faced a much more ‘dire emergency’ if she waited any longer in reaching out for help. She’s now using her story to help encourage other women to be more proactive with their body.
“I’m not a nurse or anyone who can help in any real way. This is the way I can help. I can tell my story. Everyone’s symptoms are different but I felt compelled to share mine. Even if it’s one person I help. That is someone’s life,” said Susan Lucci in an interview with People in 2018.
Lucci is best known for her role as Erica Kane in the soap opera All My Children between 1970 and 2011 – that’s right, 41 years! Considered a legend and icon in daytime television, Lucci helped inspire a generation of funny and witty, yet selfish females that took after her character.
Susan Lucci Continues to Advocate for Heart Health
Ever since her first heart surgery in 2018, Susan Lucci has made it a point to share her story with complete transparency in hopes of inspiring other women to take better care of their health – especially the heart. She wants everyone to be their own advocate and listen to their body.
“Listen to your heart and act on it. Be your own best friend, be your own advocate. You’ll save your life. I feel so lucky to have the platform that I have. I just wanted to be able to do something other than entertain,” said Lucci in her recent appearance on Good Morning America.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the No. 1 leading cause of death in men and women. Roughly 700,00 people die every year from heart disease and another 800,000 people suffer a heart attack every year. To learn if you’re at risk of developing heart disease, speak with your doctor.
“Let’s take care of everything and let’s give ourselves permission to put ourselves on our own to-do list and listen to our bodies. If someone else out there is having a feeling in their body that is not normal for them, you go ahead and act on it. Take your symptoms and go to the doctor,” added Lucci.
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