Filmmaker and actor Kevin Smith says he suffered a "massive" heart attack after performing on stage - and that he had accepted he was about to die.
Smith, the director of Clerks, Mallrats and Red State, had finished one of two shows when he fell ill on Sunday.
The 47-year-old was rushed to hospital and says doctors found one of his arteries was 100 percent blocked.
"I faced my greatest fear tonight ... and it wasn't as bad as I've always imagined it'd be," he wrote.
In an Instagram post written from his hospital bed in Los Angeles, Smith said he was reminded of his father, who died after a heart attack.
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
"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," he wrote.
"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."
He paid tribute to hospital staff who diagnosed a blocked LAD artery - the main artery running down the front of the heart. Such a blockage can often lead to death, and is fatal in a high percentage of cases.
"I'm sure I'll be facing some lifestyle changes now," he wrote, adding that maybe it was time to become vegan.
Smith was first seen in his 1994 comedy Clerks, which he filmed for about $US27,000 in his native New Jersey. The film went on to win prizes at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.