Legendary soap opera actress Susan Lucci is revealing that she underwent emergency heart surgery back in October for a major blockage in her arteries that could have ended in a fatal heart attack.
Lucci told People magazine the shocking news in an interview Wednesday, saying: “I’m lucky to be alive.”
She said that after feeling pain that “felt like an elephant pressing down on my chest,” she underwent a CT scan at the hospital.
The tests revealed that the actress had 90 percent blockage in the heart’s main artery, which doctors call “the widow maker,” and 70 percent blockage in another branch.
“Ninety percent blockage – I was shocked,” Lucci said.
The 72-year-old actress had to undergo surgery, during which her doctor inserted two stents into her arteries to help increase blood flow back to her heart.
Her cardiologist Holly Andersen said: “Had she gone home, that 90 percent blockage could have become 100 percent and she could have suffered a significant heart attack or even sudden death.”
The soap opera icon has played matriarch Erica Kane on daytime drama “All My Children” for 41 years.
“I’m not a nurse or anyone who can help in any real way,” Lucci said. “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.”