Actress Dot Jones is certainly lucky to be alive after a serious medical condition landed her in the hospital for emergency heart surgery over the holidays.
The 56-year-old Glee and Lizzie McGuire actress had been experiencing a severe burning sensation in her chest, and even saw multiple doctors in December about it. However, it turned out to be much more serious than doctors had initially thought.
Dot was “having a burning sensation” that she felt across her chest while walking, but she said, “When I would stop walking it went away.” It started in December, just around the holidays.
Doctors initially diagnosed Dot with bronchial spasms, and according to Dot, the internist told her that the pain would go away. But instead of going away, the pain that she felt across her chest kept getting worse with time.
When Dot went back, she was then told it was asthma and handed an inhaler “which did nothing!”
Luckily, her wife, Bridget, felt like there was something more serious going on, and decided to take matters into her own hands. She took Dot to the same cardiologist who had treated her after suffering a stroke in 2017.
The cardiologist realized that the pain was being caused by something much more severe: a widowmaker heart attack. Much like the name implies, this type of heart attack is typically fatal. The pain associated with a widowmaker heart attack is often misdiagnosed as heartburn or asthma.
With the help of an angiogram, a diagnostic test that uses X-rays to take pictures of blood vessels, it was discovered that Dot’s left anterior descending (LAD) artery was 99% blocked. The LAD artery sends blood to the larger part of the heart.
Doctors placed a stent to keep the artery open, and now Dot is home to rest and recover from the health scare.
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On Instagram, Dot posted the images of her artery before and after her operation, showing the difference. She says that she’s “beyond lucky and truly blessed to be here,” but perhaps the most important part was her advice for others.
“Keep asking questions,” she urges her followers, concerning “anything around the heart area or anything you’re not sure of!”