published : 2023-09-24

Rosie O'Donnell's Near-Death Experience: A Journey of Survival and Transformation

Dismissed Symptoms and a Widowmaker Heart Attack

Rosie O'Donnell reflecting on her near-death experience, taken with a Nikon D850

Comedian Rosie O'Donnell has shared a harrowing story of survival after suffering a near-fatal widowmaker heart attack over a decade ago.

In a recent interview on the 'Best Podcast Ever', O'Donnell revealed that she initially dismissed her symptoms, considering herself 'lucky' to have survived the major cardiac event in 2012.

Recalling the events of that fateful day, O'Donnell explained how she was visiting a friend going through chemotherapy when she noticed a woman struggling to exit her car in the parking lot.

Assisting the woman, O'Donnell began to experience unusual arm pain but brushed it off as a result of the physical exertion.

Later that day, O'Donnell's son noticed her ghostly appearance, prompting her to pay closer attention to her well-being.

Searching for answers online, she discovered that her symptoms aligned with those of a heart attack in women, but she didn't want to overreact.

Days passed, and O'Donnell's health deteriorated. She eventually decided to visit her therapist, still unsure if her symptoms were indicative of a heart attack.

A doctor examining a patient with heart attack symptoms, taken with a Canon EOS R

After struggling to climb stairs, O'Donnell's family urged her to see a doctor. The next day, she finally took their advice and saw a cardiologist.

To her shock, she received the diagnosis of a 'massive heart attack', with doctors revealing she had already suffered one earlier.

O'Donnell lamented the lack of awareness surrounding heart attack symptoms in women, pointing out that media often portrays heart attacks as predominantly affecting men.

During her emergency room visit, O'Donnell discovered that her left anterior descending artery (LAD), also known as the 'widowmaker', was 100 percent blocked.

In a race against time, doctors inserted a stent to open up the blocked artery, saving her life.

The experience proved to be a turning point for O'Donnell, forcing her to reevaluate her relationship with her body.

She shared how the ordeal brought her back into her physical self, prompting her to connect with her emotions and be more present in her own skin.

Rosie O'Donnell raising awareness about heart attacks in women, taken with a Sony A7III

Following her heart attack, O'Donnell made significant lifestyle changes, adopting a sugar-free diet, committing to regular exercise, and even undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.

Through her journey of survival and transformation, O'Donnell has become an advocate for raising awareness about heart attack symptoms in women.

In 2015, she hosted the HBO special 'Rosie O'Donnell: A Heartfelt Stand-up', where she shared crucial information about the warning signs of heart attacks in women.

O'Donnell's story serves as a powerful reminder that heart attacks can happen to anyone, and being informed about symptoms can save lives.

This gripping tale of resilience and self-discovery emphasizes the importance of being in tune with our bodies and taking action when something feels amiss.