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Kevin Smith reveals he nearly died after suffering 'massive heart attack'

"Clerks" director Kevin Smith is recovering after he suffered a "widowmaker" heart attack in between two stand-up shows in California.
Image: The IMDb Studio At The 2017 Sundance Film Festival Featuring The Filmmaker Discovery Lounge, Presented By Amazon Video Direct: Day One - 2017 Park City
The \"Clerks\" director revealed on social media that he recently suffered a serious heart attack.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Kevin Smith is thankful to still be "above ground" after suffering what he called a "massive heart attack" on Sunday between shows in California.

The "Clerks" director tweeted a selfie from his hospital bed early Monday, saying his doctor told him he had a heart attack from a 100 percent blockage in the left anterior descending artery (LAD), one of three arteries that supply blood flow to the heart.

Smith, 47, had been scheduled to perform a pair of stand-up shows in Glendale, California, on Sunday, but canceled the second one when he started feeling ill and thankfully went to the hospital to get checked out.

"If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight,'' he wrote. "But for now, I’m still above ground!"

Smith, whose father died from a massive heart attack, wrote a longer post on Instagram in which he described feeling nauseous, sweating heavily and throwing up after his first show while his chest felt "heavy."

"But this is what I learned about myself during this crisis: Death was always the thing I was most terrified of in life,'' he wrote. "But even as they cut into my groin to slip a stent into the lethal widowmaker, I was filled with a sense of calm. I’ve had a great life: loved by parents who raised me to become the individual I am.

"The point of this post is to tell you that I faced my greatest fear tonight ... and it wasn’t as bad as I’ve always imagined it’d be. I don’t want my life to end but if it ends, I can’t complain. It was such a gift."

Smith has been living a healthier lifestyle in recent years, which includes the 85-pound weight loss he showed off in 2015. The father of an 18-year-old daughter was inspired to lose weight by a 2010 incident in which he said he was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight for being too large for one seat.

The "Comic Book Men" host said doctors informed him the heart attack he suffered is known as a "widowmaker," which gets its nickname from its low survival rate.

Bob Harper, a trainer for "The Biggest Loser," suffered a "widowmaker" last year when he collapsed in the gym and spoke with TODAY in April about the ordeal.

"My heart stopped,'' Harper said. "Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead."

Smith's friends, along with other celebrities, reached out to him with well wishes on Monday.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.