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  • What is a widowmaker? Supernatural star Mark Sheppard survives 6 consecutive heart attack scare
Mark Sheppard played the role of demon King of Hell Crowley on "Supernatural." (Image via Getty/Kevin Winter)

What is a widowmaker? Supernatural star Mark Sheppard survives 6 consecutive heart attack scare

English actor and musician Mark Sheppard of Supernatural fame suffered multiple heart attacks on Friday, December 1, 2023. He shared the news via an Instagram post on Saturday. Here’s what he wrote in the post:

“You’re not going to believe this! Was on my way to an appointment yesterday when I collapsed in my kitchen. Six massive heart attacks later, and being brought back from dead 4 times, I apparently had a 100 % blockage in my LAD. The Widowmaker.”

Mark Sheppard also added how he was doing better even though his “chances of survival were virtually nil.” He even thanked his wife of eight years, Sarah Louise Fudge, first responders, and the hospital staff of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center for saving his life.

For those unaware, the widowmaker is a kind of heart attack that happens when there’s a blockage in the biggest artery in the human heart, as per the Cleveland Clinic.

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All you need to know about widowmaker, the heart attack Mark Sheppard survived

Cleveland Clinic’s official website defines a widowmaker as a type of heart attack in which a person suffers a full blockage in their heart’s biggest artery, the left anterior descending artery or LAD.

This artery is responsible for sending oxygen-rich blood to the heart’s left ventricle, which in turn pumps it to the aorta. The aorta then distributes the oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body, including the brain.


As per the medical website, a widowmaker is immediately life-threatening because the LAD provides 50 percent of the heart muscle’s blood supply. Men above the age of 45 and women above 50 years are more prone to the widowmaker heart attack.

The main cause of a widowmaker is atherosclerosis, which refers to the buildup of cholesterol in the LAD artery. A blood clot can also lead to this kind of heart attack.


Exploring, in brief, Mark Sheppard’s recent cardiac emergency

Last week, Mark Sheppard, the actor famous for playing the fan-favorite role of demon/King of Hell Crowley in the dark fantasy drama, Supernatural, suffered six consecutive heart attacks and collapsed in his kitchen. He had 100 percent LAD blockage which led to a widowmaker heart attack, as per his Saturday Instagram post, which also stated how he was brought back from the dead four times.

The post had an image of him lying on a hospital bed with plugs attached to his chest.

Sheppard's Supernatural colleagues, Misha Collins and Felicia Day, wished him a speedy recovery. Other celebrities, including John Barrowman, Matt Bomer, and Devon Sawa further sent their best wishes.

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Last year, Sheppard’s former Supernatural co-star Nicki Aycox succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 47.


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Edited by
Upasya Bhowal
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