The 56-year-old actress shared the news on Instagram on Friday, one day after undergoing heart surgery to repair a 99 percent blockage in her left anterior descending artery.
Jones said that her symptoms were misdiagnosed twice before she finally saw the doctor who saved her life.
“I had been having a burning sensation across my chest while walking and when I would stop walking it went away! When I went to the internist I was told it was bronchio spasms, that they would go away! A week later it was getting worse I went back then told it was asthma! And given an inhaler which did nothing!”
Thankfully, Jones’ wife, Bridgett Casteen-Jones, had made her an appointment with another doctor who was able to identify the blockage. It isn’t fully clear when she had the heart attack, but Jones underwent surgery to repair the blockage on Thursday. She shared two photos the next day of her heart before and after a stent was put in to resume blood flow.
“I had a heart attack then I had an angiogram late last night and a stent put in to open the blood flow!” she wrote. “Our amazing heart [doctor] fixed it!! I love him so much as he is the [doctor] who saved Bridgett after her strokes!!”
A widowmaker heart attack is one of the most severe, and specifically refers to a blockage in the left anterior descending artery, one of the three main arteries. With a widowmaker heart attack, very little oxygen is going to the heart, causing cardiac arrest.
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Widowmaker, though, is not a technical term — doctors started using it because the heart attacks are typically fatal, leaving someone a widow. Biggest Loser host Bob Harper and Kevin James both recently survived a widowmaker heart attacks.
Jones emphasized to her followers that they should always seek out a second (or in her case, third) opinion if they know something is wrong.
“Keep asking questions and anything around the heart area or anything you’re not sure of!!” she said. “Women have different symptoms then men and not all the same! I am beyond lucky and truly blessed to be here!! Thank you everyone for the love!! I love y’all!!”
And Jones is now recovering at home with her wife and dog. She shared several photos of their dog watching over her as she recovered in bed on Monday night.
“Fancy has been by my side or laying over my legs since I got home from the hospital Friday!! @bridgettcjones too, well maybe not laying over my legs!❤️😉😉” she wrote. “I’m a lucky 🍀 girl in more ways then one!! Truly blessed!!”