Dot-Marie Jones is feeling “truly blessed” to be alive after suffering a near-fatal heart attack.
The Glee actress, 56, shared on social media that she’s recovering from a “widow-maker,” an especially dangerous heart attack that occurs when the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, which sends blood to the larger part of the heart, is blocked. Making it more of a miracle that she’s alive, she was having chest pains for more than a week prior and was misdiagnosed — twice.
Jones, who played Coach Beiste on the Fox show and also appeared on the original Lizzie McGuire, shared before and after photos of the artery, which she said was 99 percent blocked.
“This is my heart,” she wrote. “I had a heart attack then I had an angiogram late last night and a stent was put in to open the blood flow.”
Jones — who was an athlete in college with a shot put state champion title — said the doctor who saved her also saved her wife, Bridgett Casteen-Jones, after suffering strokes.
“I had been having a burning sensation across my chest while walking and when I would stop walking it went away,” Jones explained. “When I went to the internist, I was told it was [bronchospasm] that would go away.”
However, the burning intensified, so she returned to the doctor a week later and was “told it was asthma and given an inhaler, which did nothing.”
Casteen-Jones insisted she see her doctor — and lucky she did. Jones suffered the heart attack and then had an angiogram, a diagnostic test that uses X-rays to take pictures of the blood vessels, followed by stent placement to keep the artery open and reduce the chance of another heart attack.
Jones, who got home from the hospital on Friday, called herself “beyond lucky and truly blessed to be here” and went on to share important advice, especially to women: “Keep asking questions” especially related to the “heart area or anything you’re not sure of. Women have different symptoms than men and not all the same.”
She also shared a photo of her recovery pal, her dog.
Jones is not the first celebrity to have a near-fatal widow-maker. It is the same type of heart attack suffered by The Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper, director Kevin Smith and Deadliest Catch captain Sig Hansen. Soap icon Susan Lucci underwent emergency heart surgery last year, narrowly avoiding a widow-maker.
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