Heart disease can strike anyone, and actress Susan Lucci’s story is a stark reminder that no one is immune.
The 72-year-old most famous for her role on "All My Children" caught a major heart blockage just in the nick of time.
Lucci said she was out shopping in Long Island, New York, when she felt a sudden pain in her chest and a friend rushed her to a nearby hospital.
“It felt like an elephant pressing down on my chest,” she told People magazine.
She said she had originally expected to be sent home, but an initial CT scan revealed a much more serious problem.
The doctor said she had a 90 percent blockage in her major artery and a 75 percent blockage in an offshoot artery, adding that she’d need two stents to return blood flow to her heart.
“I didn’t realize how serious it was until I asked to go home and come back the next day for the procedure and my doctor said, ‘You’re not leaving. You can have a heart attack at any time,’” Lucci said.
The news comes as especially shocking because Lucci is renown for her healthy lifestyle. She works out daily and even sells Pilates equipment.
She also follows a strict Mediterranean diet, filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, and has only been hospitalized twice previously, when she gave birth to her two kids.
Dr. Mehmet Oz weighed in in an interview with InsideEdition.com and said Lucci had done everything right for her heart, but it was her family history of heart condition that sealed her fate.
She is now using her harrowing experience to help others as a volunteer spokesperson for American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.