Susan Lucci is skilled at capturing the spotlight.
The 77-year-old former All My Children star confidently showcased her presence on the red carpet during the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection event in New York City on Wednesday night.
Lucci donned a strapless crimson gown, perfectly aligning with the event's logo and the vibrant red carpet. The mermaid-style ensemble featured feathers at its hem, complemented by elegant silver jewelry.
In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE, Lucci explained the significance of her attendance at the event, describing it as her "passion project" due to her personal experience with a cardiac event. She emphasized that emerging from that experience fueled her determination to share her good fortune with others.
Even when her cardiologist suggested she could ease up on raising awareness through her involvement with the American Heart Association, the actress insisted on continuing.
Susan recounts her cardiologist's advice but expresses her firm belief that sharing her good fortune was a necessity. "Keeping that good luck to myself just wasn't an option," she shares with PEOPLE.
Lucci, who supports the American Heart Association, goes to their yearly event regularly. In 2019, she tripped while walking the runway in her red dress. The soap opera star, dressed in a red strapless ballgown, didn't let it bother her and just laughed it off.
Susan is very committed to her work with the AHA, especially after her heart problem in 2018. In 2023, she talked to PEOPLE about strong chest pains she had but ignored, thinking it wasn't a big deal. She didn't want to bother her cardiologist back then. Eventually, it got too much for her to handle.
A scan showed a 90% blockage in the main artery to Lucci's heart, and she didn't realize how close she was to a fatal heart attack. Her condition was genetic, passed down from her dad's side, and doctors put in two stents. Susan emphasized the importance of knowing family history, admitting she hadn't mentioned her dad's family history to a doctor before.
A few years later, despite speaking openly about her experience, Susan experienced more pain and needed another stent. She was hesitant to call the doctor again, feeling ashamed. However, she decided to share her story as a reminder to stay vigilant about heart health.
Recently, Lucci posted on Instagram, urging her fans to take care of their "precious heart" with a quote saying, "Heart health awareness begins with self-care."
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