Rosie Drops Weight After Near Fatal Heart Attack

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Rosie O'Donnell is opening up about the heart attack she suffered earlier this year that nearly killed her and says the health scare has led her to make significant changes in her life.

The 50-year-old TV personality/comedian reveals to People magazine in its latest issue that the heart attack was very serious. "My arms starting aching and my chest hurt," she recalls about the afternoon of August 14. "My son, Blake, said, 'Mommy you look very white.' I told him, 'I don't feel so good, honey.'"

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O'Donnell said she didn't find out exactly what had happened until the next day when she visited the doctor, who ended up implanting a stent to improve blood flow to her arteries. "I started crying," she told the magazine. "I almost died -- and that's not an over-exaggeration. That's a fact."

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That same day she got rid of all the junk food in the house and started eating healthier and says she's already lost 12 lbs. "For the first time, it wasn't hard for me," she explains about the recent weight loss. "It took a heart attack for me to learn to take care of myself."

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She said the experience has also given her a new sense of purpose. "The heart attack has changed my life by forcing myself to live in the moment and to really ingest every single second."