Clerks filmmaker Kevin Smith is recovering from a massive heart attack – and has shared the experience on Instagram. The writer-director, also known for such films as Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl, was due to perform two of his Kevin Smith Live! stand up shows at the Alex Theater in Glendale, California on Sunday evening, but canceled the second event due to illness. Taking to social media on Monday morning, Kevin explained that he had been rushed to the hospital and had undergone emergency surgery.
"After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack," he wrote alongside a selfie showing him in his hospital bed. "The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100 per cent blockage of my LAD artery (aka 'the Widow-Maker'). If I hadn't canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would've died tonight. But for now, I'm still above ground!" The left anterior descending artery (LAD) runs down the front of the heart and supplies the front and main wall of the organ.
I was trying to do a killer standup special this evening but I might’ve gone too far. After the first show, I felt kinda nauseous. I threw up a little but it didn’t seem to help. Then I started sweating buckets and my chest felt heavy. Turns out I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life at the #glendale hospital told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (also known as “the Widow-Maker” because when it goes, you’re a goner). If I hadn’t canceled the second show to go to the hospital, the Doc said I would’ve died tonight. For now, I’m still above ground! But this is what I learned about myself during this crisis: death was always the thing I was most terrified of in life. When the time came, I never imagined I’d ever be able to die with dignity - I assumed I’d die screaming, like my Dad (who lost his life to a massive heart attack). But even as they cut into my groin to slip a stent into the lethal Widow-Maker, 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. I’ve had a weird, wonderful career in all sorts of media, amazing friends, the best wife in the world and an incredible daughter who made me a Dad. But as I stared into the infinite, I realized I was relatively content. Yes, I’d miss life as it moved on without me - and I was bummed we weren’t gonna get to make #jayandsilentbobreboot before I shuffled loose the mortal coil. But generally speaking, I was okay with the end, if this was gonna be it. I’ve gotten to do so many cool things and I’ve had so many adventures - how could I be shitty about finally paying the tab. But the good folks at the Glendale hospital had other plans and the expertise to mend me. Total strangers saved my life tonight (as well as my friends @jordanmonsanto & @iamemilydawn, who called the ambulance). This is all a part of my mythology now and I’m sure I’ll be facing some lifestyle changes (maybe it’s time to go Vegan). But 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. #KevinSmith
Interventional cardiologist Dr. Mustafa Ahmed previously described the Widow-Maker heart attack by explaining: "No one knows exactly who came up with the term, but the reason they did is likely that if that artery is blocked right at the beginning of its course, then the whole artery after it goes down. This essentially means that the whole front wall of the heart goes down. As far as heart attacks go, this is a big one."
Kevin, 47, hit headlines in 2015, when he revealed that he had shed an incredible 85 pounds after being warned that his excess weight could lead to health problems. Speaking to Men's Health magazine about how he had lost the weight, Kevin explained that he had cut out sugar and started drinking green juices, as well as introducing some gentle exercise into his daily regimen. "My 'working out' is I've got this hill outside my house - like, right outside my house, you walk out the door and - boom!" Kevin told the publication. "You're on this hill, so I'll take my dogs out and see who starts breathing heavy and sweating first. I don't really exercise. I'm not a 'fifty reps' kind of guy. I just walk every day."