After delaying getting treatment when she experienced the symptoms of a heart attack, Rosie O'Donnell recognizes that she's lucky to be alive today. She talked about her heart attack on the October 25 episode of Access Hollywood.
"By all means I should be dead," Rosie admits now. Reflecting on how she waited more than 48 hours before she sought medical help, she understands the risks.
Rosie is sending a message to other women to recognize the symptoms of heart attacks. Appearing on Dr. Mehmet Oz's show recently, she discussed how she initially dismissed her symptoms. The result: Rosie almost died. After doctors discovered a 99% blocked artery in her heart, they inserted a stent.
But Rosie recognizes that it's up to her to take charge of her health. She and Dr. Oz previously discussed her weight concerns because obesity is linked to heart disease. Now Rosie has shifted to a plant-based diet and lost some weight.
"It’s plant-based — no animal products at all," Rosie said in an interview. "I do miss steak, cheeseburgers, cheese — I miss dairy in general. But I feel so much better already."
As part of Rosie's decision to eliminate animal products, she viewed the documentary "Forks Over Knives," which has a companion book "Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health" (click for details). She also talked with plant-based diet guru Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure."
And Rosie made it clear that she's talking about her heart attack now because she truly believes in helping other women to potentially save their own lives. As she blogged after her experience:
"I am lucky to be here. Know the symptoms ladies, listen to the voice inside. The one we all so easily ignore. CALL 911," she concluded.
Rosie also wrote a poem about her experience, ending: "on we all go, one step at a time, as we mend r broken hearts, one breath at a time."