Best known to soap fans as the iconic Erica Kane on ALL MY CHILDREN, Susan Lucci has always used her celebrity to help bring awareness to worthy causes. And after having a major heart attack scare in late 2018, the actress has become an advocate for women’s heart health, joining the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” movement as a national ambassador.
And in the new issue of our sister publication, First for Women, on sale now, Lucci opened up about how another health scare reinvigorated her urge to help other women avoid having a heart attack themselves. As she began to experience some of the same symptoms again at the start of last year, the Emmy winner found herself doing the same thing that got her in trouble last time.
“I’m ashamed to say that I reverted back to my original behavior, which was to say to myself, ‘Oh, it’s nothing, it’ll just go away,’ and ‘I can’t go to the hospital right now.’” Lucci confided. “I was shocked that I was feeling some of the symptoms I felt in 2018 again and just thought, ‘This is crazy — it can’t be happening again.’”
Lucci urges women to listen to their bodies and to act when they can feel that something isn’t right, even if the symptoms feel unusual, like an ache in the jaw. “It seems so counterintuitive,” she admitted. “Why would my jaw hurt? But it’s actually a common symptom of a heart attack in women.”
Knowing that she herself had to be reminded to take her symptoms seriously, Lucci wants to make sure other women don’t fall into the same trap. “A lot of women think the symptoms will just go away like I did,” she said. “But now, I tell women to act on those feelings.”
Check out the full interview to learn more about Lucci’s work with the American Heart Association, how she recovered after the loss of her beloved husband, and much more!