The pain of loss can be intense, be it the loss of a human loved one, or a dear pet. The gripping pain caused by the overwhelming emotions which accompany a great loss may feel intense enough to cause death…as it turns out, in some situations, people can actually die from a broken heart.
There is something known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or “broken-heart syndrome,” and though it’s typically not fatal, it can be. A woman named Joanie Simpson had all of the hallmark signs of a true heart attack after her dog, Meha, died. According to the Washington Post, Simpson even had to be airlifted to a Houston hospital for care after she went to an emergency room with “classic signs” of a deadly heart attack.
As it turned out, after cardiologist Abhijeet Dhoble and his team performed various tests, they found Simpson’s arteries were clear and that she was instead a “very concise, elegant case” of broken-heart syndrome. This week, Simpson’s 2016 case was detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The case supports what many people already know – losing a beloved pet can be every bit as devastating as the loss of a human loved one. Simpson wasn’t surprised to learn that her cardiac “episode” was an effect of broken-heart syndrome. She said, “I was close to inconsolable. I really took it really, really hard.”
(Stock image via Pixabay)
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