Barbara Walters Has Heart Surgery Special
This week, Barbara Walters will be sitting down with Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Robin Williams and Regis Philbin to talk about their open heart surgeries for her special, "A Matter of Life and Death,"
Walters, once a heart surgery patient herself, wanted to shed light on the prevalent and scary subject. She also wanted it to be entertaining.
"I didn't want people to feel that this was going to be an hour lecture," she said. "To have these very famous, and in some cases very funny, people, meant that they would watch."
Each guest talked about their experience and where they're at now. Clinton, a former Big Mac-eating president, revealed that he's now practically a vegan. David Letterman, 63, says that he sometimes bursts into tears of joy that he's doing well, given his medical history and the knowledge that his father died of a heart attack at age 57. Williams and Walters show their scars.
Walters also shows a picture of herself in a hospital bed, less-than-lucid from drugs. She discusses her methodical recovery, gaining strength every day. She reads from a diary her daughter had written about the surgery and its aftermath, as well.
"I don't know why I wasn't more scared, but I wasn't," she said. "And there were aspects of it that I enjoyed."
The special, which airs Friday, also includes talks with doctors, including her own, about prevention and the warning signs of heart trouble. Walters particularly wanted women to take notice, because many worry more about cancer than heart disease. Women need to understand that their symptoms of heart disease are often quite different from men, she said.