AceShowbiz - Beloved U.S. TV star Susan Lucci is "lucky to be alive" after undergoing surgery last year (2018) to correct a heart artery blockage.
The "All My Children" star initially ignored the tightness in her chest until she felt a pain like "an elephant pressing down" on her while she was shopping, and immediately sought medical treatment.
Doctors discovered she had a 90 percent blockage in the heart's main artery and 70 percent in another.
"Ninety percent blockage - I was shocked," she tells People magazine. "I'm lucky to be alive."
"As a woman, you think about breast cancer, not a heart attack," she says. "Every EKG (Electrocardiograms) I had was great. My blood pressure was on the lower end of normal."
However, her risk stemmed from her family's history of heart disease.
"Her risk was due to her father's arteriosclerosis, a condition that causes plaque buildup, which can cause blockage and hardening (or calcification) of the arteries," her cardiologist Holly Andersen says.
Now Lucci is using her health scare to raise awareness.
"I'm not a nurse or anyone who can help in any real way," she says. "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."