La La Anthony is opening up about a health scare that sent her to the hospital. She was diagnosed with PVCs, a cardiac condition that is more common than you'd think. The 39-year-old "The Freak Brothers" star spoke to Al Roker and Shienelle Jones on the 3rd Hour of TODAY to explain exactly what happened and why we all need to listen to our bodies when we think something might be wrong.
"I am so grateful for the doctors and my family for supporting me through such a scary experience," Anthony said, explaining that her heart was beating at a consistently accelerated rate. "I started feeling fatigued, and one day I couldn't do it anymore. I was completely out of it," she said. "I felt dizzy and faint and I was rushed to the hospital. I had to have a cardiac ablation where they go in and find out where these extra heartbeats are coming from, and slow them down."
PVCs, premature ventricular contractions, are extra heartbeats that begin in one of your heart's two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). According to the Mayo Clinic, these extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a fluttering or a skipped beat in your chest. Having frequent PVCs might increase your risk of developing heart rhythm problems or weakening of the heart muscle. In rare cases, they can lead to chaotic, dangerous heart rhythms and possibly sudden cardiac death.
Anthony opened up about her heart condition in the new issue of Self magazine, recounting the events of June 1, 2021, when she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency procedure.
“I never felt anything like that before,” she said. At first, Anthony didn't want to seek medical help for the problem that had plagued her for two years, but did so at her son's encouragement.
"Kiyan was like, ‘Mom, please let them call because you don’t look like yourself."
Anthony said that even though she had felt her heart racing in the past, she dismissed it, thinking that she just needed to rest more. "I would say, when you feel like something's off, definitely never ignore it. It's important to get it checked out and see what's going on so we can tackle these things before you end up being rushed to the hospital like what happened to me."
When it came to getting through the ordeal, Anthony said she leaned on her mom and son, Kiyan, 14, for support. And even though she's a self-professed workaholic, and puts being a mom at the top of her to-do list, she now knows the importance of self-care. In the end, it was Kiyan who encouraged his mom to speak out about what happened to her.
"I wanted to keep this on the low," Anthony laughed, but agreed with her son that so many people could learn from her experience. She says it could be about people going to get a condition checked out, or simply about slowing down.
"Sometimes you've got to slow down and put yourself first otherwise you're not going to be in good condition for anyone," she said.