Lala Anthony is known for being a woman on the move. To her fans, she is a loving mom, a flourishing actress, and a smart business woman, but behind the scenes, she was privately dealing with the effects of a life-threatening heart condition.
In a recent interview with SELF, Anthony revealed the incredibly scary moment when she realized the abnormal heartbeat that had been plaguing her for years, was far more serious than she thought:
“I felt my heart racing all the time, but because it’s all I ever really knew, I didn’t even know that it was necessarily something wrong,” she explains. “I just thought, Oh, you just feel your heart racing sometimes because you’re working too much, you haven’t slept, you’re stressed. You know, we, especially Black people, like to self-diagnose. We got all the answers.”
After being rushed to the hospital on June 1, 2021—after being encouraged to go by her 14 year old son, Kaiyan, and concerned EMTs— doctors explained to Lala exactly what was happening with her heart:
“Within a 24-hour period, they said, my heart was beating 30,000 extra beats more than the average person. It was going fast constantly.… Your heart is a muscle. If a muscle is working so hard all the time, eventually the muscle will get weak and cause heart attack, stroke, death, whatever it is.”
While her surgery was thankfully successful and she is back to developing a healthier life, the experience did bring Lala to some important, life-changing conclusions:
“This made me reprioritize myself because it’s always about everyone else and work and this and that. And it’s like, if I’m not good, I’m not gonna be good for anyone.”