After suffering a heart attack in August, Rosie O’Donnell said she is now doing much better after a trying year, thanks in part to wife Michelle Rounds.
Access Hollywood caught up with the TV personality on Monday night her “Building Dreams For Kids” gala in New York City, where she explained that hew new wife – who she married in June – quickly went online when Rosie started experiencing some pain.
“I thought, well, let me Google the symptoms and sure enough she had almost every one of them,” Michelle told Access, looking back on the night Rosie had the medical scare.
“She gave me an aspirin, thank God!” Rosie said. “The doctor [said it was] vital to me staying [alive] through the night, because I didn’t go [to the hospital] right away and I should’ve.”
Rosie explained that she first thought her symptoms were indicative of something minor.
“I’m thinking the kids, ‘Where are the kids going to go? Let’s just put some ice on me. I probably just pulled a muscle,’” she recalled. “I think we have to learn to treat ourselves better and to put ourselves first and to save our lives in the end.”
Now that Rosie is doing well, she said the incident was an eye-opener and serious learning experience.
“It’s been a rough year, I can tell you that,” she continued. “I feel a lot better. I think that I became educated after having a heart attack… I wasn’t really prepared or ready and even while I was having a heart attack, I kept going, ‘You think this could be a heart attack?’”
Monday’s benefit gala was for Rosie’s Theater Kids organization, which uses the arts to enrich the lives of children with classes in dance, music, and theater.
“There are thousands of kids who have benefited from this program,” Rosie explained to Access. “We start in the fifth grade, we go to the most underprivileged schools and the kids get to learn everything there is to learn about theater, arts, and crafts. They get to go to a Broadway show, and then the kids who excel, not necessarily at talent, but in enthusiasm, get asked to stay with the program and they stay all the way through college. We have kids who were in college on full scholarships now and it’s a pretty astounding success rate.”
-- Jesse Spero