O'Donnell, 50, credited her survival to quick Internet research on her painful symptoms and a Bayer aspirin she had seen recommended in ads. "Thank god/saved by a tv commercial/literally," she wrote Monday in her usual verse form on her blog. O'Donnell said she had a stent inserted after doctors found that her coronary artery was 99 percent blocked. In a statement on Monday, her rep Cindi Berger tells PEOPLE, "She is now home and resting comfortably. She is very, very lucky." "They call this type of heart attack/the Widow Maker/i am lucky to be here," she wrote.
Earlier this month, O'Donnell, 50, shared the news that her fiancee Michelle Rounds was diagnosed with desmoid tumors, a very rare affliction. O'Donnell said her own health problems started on Aug. 14 after she helped "an enormous woman" struggling to get out of her car in a parking lot in Nyack, N.Y.
A few hours later, her chest ached, both arms felt sore as if they were bruised, she became nauseous, and had clammy skin. "maybe this is a heart attack," she wrote. "i googled womens heart attack symptoms/i had many of them/but really? – i thought – naaaa."
She took the aspirin recommended for people who think they are suffering a heart attack but didn't call 911. She said that hundreds of thousands of women die each year of heart attacks and that many never dial the emergency number. "by some miracle i was not one of them," she wrote, adding: "know the symptoms ladies/listen to the voice inside/the one we all so easily ignore/CALL 911/save urself."
Heart disease is a very serious and life-threatening. Many celebrities like Star Jones and Barbara Streisand promote awareness and help raise money for research to help the many women affected by this disease. It's also known as a "silent killer." Many women go undiagnosed and may not experience any alarming symptoms. Barbara Streisands says, "Women need to be educated about female cardiovascular disease, and the medical community must be propelled toward change,” Streisand told THR. “Just like with breast cancer, the impetus must come from women themselves striving to become empowered to reduce their risks for heart disease.”
Streisand has been a supporter of the former Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute since 2007, when she learned that heart disease is the number one killer of women. More than 500,000 women die each year in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease -- exceeding all the female deaths by cancer -- and most research had been done on men, without regard to the major differences among women who are affected.
"I consider myself a well-informed person," Streisand said in a recent speech, "but when I heard these facts, I was stunned. Very few people know this. And until recently, almost no one talked about or paid attention to an epidemic that women are dying from throughout the world."
For information visit The Heart Foundation www.heartfoundation.org