When Susan Lucci felt tightness in her chest the very first time, she thought that maybe she was just tired and thought that it would just go away. And of course, it did.
The 72-year-old soap opera legend had 90% heart blockage and did not realize it for an extended period.
The second time it happened, she thought again that maybe it was because she had fastened her bra too tight. She said that it was like “radiating around my rib cage.”
The first two times might not have been a big deal, but the third time, it happened while she was shopping and it felt like an elephant pressing down the chest.
The store manager, after seeing her in pain, offered her to drive her to the nearby hospital St. Francis Hospital. On her way to the hospital, she called her husband’s cardiologist who asked her to meet him in the ER.
It was there when she came to know her heart had 90% blockage. She went under the CT scan, and while talking to the media, she said she felt very “lucky” to be just still alive.
Her cardiologist, while talking to the media stated that if she had gone back home, her blockage could have increased to a 100% and she could have suffered from a tragic heart attack or even, sudden death.
Why would she share the details?
Lucci, who had been on screen as Erica Kane for 41 years old, on all my children thought her experience might be helpful to others.
She said that she is not a nurse or anything and cannot help in any real way but, maybe her experience would help others.
According to her, even if the symptoms and story do not help a lot of people, and only affects one person’s life, it is still a life, and it matters. Everyone’s symptoms might be different, but she felt responsible for being sharing her experience with everyone else.
Why did it happen?
Lucci broke the stereotype of the people who might be at the risk of a heart attack. While a lot of people think eating habits are the main reason behind heart diseases, she had been in taking a proper diet of fruits and vegetables.
She said, a woman only thinks and worries more about the breast cancer more than the heart diseases. All the EKG she had were great, and no problem ever occurred.
The main reason behind her this disease was her family history. Her father had a heart attack in her forties, and that was the main reason behind her heart disease.
It was due to her father’s arteriosclerosis. A heart disease which causes the arteries to start blocking and hardening, it also causes the plaque build-up.
As she came across this problem, she began to know that out of three, one woman dies every year from heart disease, and it often goes unnoticed as the women are more focused on breast cancer rather than the heart diseases as it created a lot of hype previously. The rate of women dying from this year is approximately 400,000.
She is now trying to increase awareness among people and especially women. She says that no matter it seems like a little problem, you still need to pay attention to it and listen to your body when it is trying to tell you something. Don’t leave out anything unnoticed as it won’t be getting cured itself but keep increasing.
Her doctors say that this is the one thing that has kept her alive. Instead of being stubborn about it and thinking it would just go away, she contacted for medical help and took a step ahead.
Now, her heart is just as good as new and is pumping as it used to when she was born.