Woman - heart broke after death of her dog

After beloved dog died, doctors confirmed that woman’s heart nearly broke

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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.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, the syndrome is more likely to impact women, especially menopausal women, more than men. Read more about this syndrome here.

(Stock image via Pixabay)

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9 replies
  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    O many loving pet owners have had a broken heart – I personally have nine boxes of cat ashes from every cat I ever had – most were strays I took in and kept – I promised them I would never leave them and they would always be with me – when I pass, I have made arrangements to be cremated and will be buried along with my beloved cats in our local pet cemetery.

  2. Barkley's Mom says:

    It’s only a dog, how many times have we heard that and yet we that have loved a furry friend know better. I am not surprised, I know it has hurt me more to lose one of my pets than even my own Mother who I loved and miss dearly. Our pets rely on us, we tend to their needs and they give back unconditional love. My heart goes out to Joanie Simpson, I am not surprised at all she suffered so.

    • Bunny Peters says:

      I completely agree with you. I have had horrible grief when I lost my precious little treasure PeanutMan, my precious little treasure Cleopatra, and my precious little treasure MacKitty……. losing my precious little treasures was as traumatic, if not more traumatic, than when I lost my “human” triplets…… their ashes and other lost treasures’ ashes are all in beautiful wooden boxes on my dresser…… “just a dog”, “just a cat” is actually very insulting (& I lost friends over telling them MY honest opinion on MY loss)…… Their problem, not mine…… Doing just fine without these insensitive boors in my life…..

      I feel for anyone going through this grief (there are animal grief support groups, ask your veterinarian for contact information)…… do your best to take each day as it comes and practice an attitude of gratitude (a wonderful priest taught me this and I follow his sage advice).

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        Bunny, I have my precious one’s ashes on a shelf waiting for me to pass away, when that happens, I hope my wishes will be respected and their ashes buried with mine. I can’t imagine spending eternity without them unlike many of the humans I have had to deal with through out my life, the only time my pets have hurt me is when they made their journey to the Rainbow Bridge.

    • Darla says:

      I grieved more when I lost Buddy than I did for either of my parents when they passed. Buddy was the love of my life, my once-in-a-lifetime dog. I’m currently dealing with end-of-life issues with my Yellow Lab, Belle, and it’s made even more difficult because she’s my last living link to Buddy, to my dad, to my ex-husband (who I liked better AFTER we got divorced!), and to a lesser extent my mom because I only had Bogie for a year before Mom died. So, I understand the suffering of Ms. Simpson.

    • Bunny Peters says:

      I agree with you on wanting to be buried with your furbabies. I want the exact same thing.

      If my furbabies were with me in life, they should be with me in death…… my furbabies and I should never be separated again…… my husband and I still can’t agree on which furbabies are to be buried with which of us…… but that is a whole different situation…….

  3. ellen cottone says:

    unbearable sorrow, debilitating,
    crushing sadness,
    no more need for this bleak lonely world,

    the joy and color have been drained out forever.
    what is the point of going on?
    I dont want too.

    there are no more good days left
    she made her choice and god allowed it,

    medical anomaly!?, medical mystery!?

    Its the rare example of a loving bond so powerful that death could not separate .

    She screamed at the top of her lungs 3 times in agony till she dropped to the floor in a breathless heap and then quite.

    She shattered the gate between life and death.
    she actually startled the reaper as she came up behind him with her arms stretched out, palms up demanding her true love to be placed in her arms

    not easy to do from the living and the breathing.

    nothing could keep her from being with her true soul mate.

    This is truly what the saying,
    “and they lived happily ever after “… describes.

    each of us here have always used this saying wrong and have been for the last 700 yrs.
    it is a second testament declaration whos meaning has always been misunderstood by the living.

    This lady and her dog are the true example of meaning,
    “happily Ever After”

    Now you know.

    They are together , in a happy after life.
    Can you see her and her dog now?

    you already have reading this post.

  4. Red says:

    Absolutely….. I felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath for weeks after losing my precious schnauzer. He had been with us for 15 years, and the loss was devastating! Still is, but you have to go on and remember them and how much love they brought into your life.


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