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Kevin Smith After Surviving Near-Fatal Heart Attack: “I Was Okay With the End, If This Was Gonna Be It”

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

A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on

We like to think that our favorite creators are going to be around forever, or at least as long as we will, but sometimes we get a reminder that they’re mortal, and that life isn’t promised for any of us. Late last night, Kevin Smith revealed that he’d suffered a massive heart attack that almost took his life. He also revealed a surprising perspective on the entire experience.

Smith took to Instagram with a statement while still in the hospital to let fans know what had happened. He was in the process of shooting a new standup special, Kevin Smith Live!, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA on Sunday night. Two shows were scheduled, one at 6PM and one at 9PM. After the first show, he says that “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.”

He cancelled the 9PM show and rushed to the hospital. The doctors told him that had he not done so as immediately as he did, he would have died last night. Smith explains, “The Doctor who saved my life at the [G]lendale 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).” Smith then describes his surprising response to facing death:

“[T]his 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.”

It’s amazing to see, while Smith’s tendency is to make like Hamilton and talk “like he’s running out of time,” that he has the perspective to recognize that there’s so much good in his life, and he’s accomplished so much, and that if anything were to happen, he feels confident that he’s lived a worthwhile life with people he loves doing a job he loves.

That said, I’m glad he’s still around to share his wacky, funny, and insightful worldview with us. We wish Smith and his family all the best as he goes through his recovery. I’m sure he’s got plenty more hilarious rambling to do.

(via Deadline Hollywood, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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