Rosie O’Donnell, a well-known member of and advocate for the LGBT community, recently revealed on her blog that she had suffered a heart attack this past week.
Upon realizing she had the tell-tale symptoms—chest pain extending to her arms, weakness, shortness of breath, and neck/jaw pain—O’Donnell went to her doctor and learned that her coronary artery was 99 percent blocked, requiring hospitalization. Doctors inserted a stent to keep the artery open. She now is home and recuperating from the incident.
Recognized for her countless roles in movies (A League of Their Own, Harriet the Spy, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) as well as for her eponymous TV series and her time spent on The View, O’Donnell may forge a new career as a heart attack prevention advocate. She posted in poetic form on Rosie.com about her brush with mortality, urging women to know the symptoms and pay attention to what they mean.
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, contributing to 25 percent of all deaths annually. But heart attacks in women are commonly overlooked—so be sure to know the symptoms and check yourself before you wreck yourself.