Aug. 22, 2012 at 8:35 AM ET
Heart disease survivor Star Jones is sharing her advice for Rosie O’Donnell, who suffered a heart attack last week and is currently on the mend, and praising her for taking action when she experienced symptoms.
“Rosie has always been a friend, and now she’s my ‘heart’ sister,” Jones, who had open heart surgery two years ago, told TODAY.com. “As the American Heart Association’s national volunteer and a heart disease survivor myself, the simple fact is that when you know better, you do better and Rosie is proof of that. By knowing the warning signs, she saved her own life.”
O’Donnell’s symptoms — nausea, clammy skin and an aching chest — aren’t what most people typically associate with a heart attack.
Fortunately, O’Donnell, 50, knew that this is how many women experience heart attacks, and, after Googling her symptoms, she decided to take an aspirin and head to the cardiologist — a move that likely saved her life.
“Neither Rosie nor I ever thought we’d be the new face of heart disease,” said Jones, a TODAY contributor and co-host of TODAY's Professionals. “But some 8 million American women are living with heart disease and yet only one in six American women believes that it is her greatest health threat." In fact, heart disease is the No.1 cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.
Jones chatted with O’Donnell this week, and says that she’s resting comfortably and is in great spirits.
“My advice to her is simple,” Jones said. “Inspire others to take control of their own health and know better themselves by joining me in the fight to wipe out this country’s No.1 health threat, which claims more lives each year that all forms of cancer combined.”