Rosie O'Donnell is lucky to be alive after her heart attack last year (12) as the nurse in charge of her recovery had never seen a patient survive similar artery damage. The Now and Then star went into cardiac arrest in August last year and had a stent inserted into an artery, which had a 100 per cent blockage. While recuperating from the operation in hospital, a nurse revealed to O'Donnell's friend that previous patients with similar health issues had always passed away. O'Donnell tells Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, "'They didn't understand why I didn't die. Usually you die right away with this. I was in the critical unit and a friend of mine came to visit. I was half awake and she asked the nurse 'how is she doing compared to everyone else?' and the nurse said 'excellent'. My friend said 'how do you know?' and the nurse said 'because everyone else is dead!' ''She never had a patient survive what I had. That really gave me pause (sic) and I started to think about how close I was to not surviving and you know, my kids." The funnywoman has now transformed her diet and has shed more than 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms). She adds, ''It made me change a lot of the ways I was living and the stuff I was eating. It feels like I was rebooted and started again at 51 years old."