The family of a widower whose wife was killed in the Texas school shooting claims he died of a “broken heart.”
Joe Garcia, 43, died on Thursday, only hours after attending the Uvalde memorial site where his wife Irma was killed two days before.
Mr Garcia fell and died while arranging for the funeral.
Joe Garcia visited his wife’s memorial this morning to place flowers on a cross with her name on it. Joe is the husband to Irma Garcia. Not long after Joe visited Irma’s memorial, he suffered a heart attack and died.— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) May 26, 2022
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Mrs Garcia’s cousin Debra Austin said: sincerely think Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to take.’
Broken heart syndrome is a genuine condition.
As per Helen Wilson, head of research at the charity Heart Research UK, the syndrome happens when the body is overburdened with stress chemicals such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Excess adrenaline can weaken the heart muscle and thin the arteries, limiting its ability to pump blood around the body dramatically.
Vital organs might close down if the body does not have enough blood.
Every year, up to 3,000 Britons and 11,000 Americans are affected by broken heart syndrome, also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Triggers might include bereavement, divorce, and even bankruptcy.
However, it is typically not deadly, and most people heal within a few weeks. Only 1% of people are expected to die from the illness.
Professor Sian Harding, a cardiac pharmacology expert at Imperial College London, explained that the spike of adrenaline caused by emotional stress is a “well-known” component of broken heart syndrome.
‘Bereavement is frequently a trigger, but the really startling and awful situations here would have amplified the impact,’ she explained.
Broken Heart Syndrome
Did you know that “broken heart syndrome” is actually a real medical condition? 💔Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, March 24, 2022
Takotsubo’s signs might mimic a heart attack, including severe chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and palpitations.
However, unlike most heart attacks, this unusual illness is not triggered by clogged arteries.
However, the adrenaline rush shuts down the bottom of the left ventricle, which is the major pumping chamber.
The bottom of the ventricle swells outwards because it is unable to contract.
This distinctive shape may be seen on X-rays of the heart and is crucial in identifying the illness.
It’s what inspired Japanese researchers in 1990 to name it after a ‘takotsubo,’ a traditional narrow-necked, wide-bottomed fishing pot used to catch octopuses.
Mr Garcia, who was also an educator, was videotaped carrying red roses at a tribute to his late wife two days after her death, only hours before his own.
Mr Garcia was spotted crying at one point, devastated by the week’s awful events.
Mrs Garcia’s nephew, John Martinez, said Mr Garcia succumbed to ‘sadness’ after coming back home from taking flowers to a monument for his late wife.
He did, however, tell that his uncle died of a heart attack.
A GoFundMe campaign established to assist their four orphaned children — Cristian, 23, Jose, 19, Lyliana, 16, and Alysandra, 12 — has raised more than $1.7 million (£1.35 million).
Broken heart syndrome is hard to identify and is frequently misdiagnosed as a heart attack.
Typically, blood tests and scans are necessary to prove it. It is generally just transient, and most people survive in a matter of weeks.
Helen Ross of Canterbury, Kent, nearly died of a broken heart in 2006 after finding her seven-year spouse was abandoning her for a friend.
The model fell on the first day of a shoot in Orlando, Florida, just days after the split.
The picture shoot crew phoned an ambulance, and she was brought to the hospital, where she awoke 30 minutes later.
Doctors told her that her heart had stopped beating twice and that they were astounded by her situation because she was a healthy young woman.
They inquired whether she had recently encountered any trauma that may have provoked the heart trouble, and when she told them about her break-up, they diagnosed her with broken heart syndrome.
Ms Ross was equipped with a pacemaker to manage her heart when she returned to the UK, which she had removed in 2014 with no more issues.
Medications, like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, can also be used to relieve the pressure on the heart and help it perform more efficiently.
Blood thinners may also be administered to lower the chance of clot formation, which can lead to a stroke.
Another British woman was stricken twice by the disease.
Sarah Woodward, a veterinary nurse, experienced a stabbing pain in her chest while at work in 2018, following the death of her best friend’s father.
Ms Woodward, of Worthing, West Sussex, said she had known him for 45 years. It felt as though she had lost her own father.
Her chest discomfort had moved to her back, chin, and down her left arm, and she was straining to breathe – all of which are classic symptoms of a heart attack.
However, after being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, testing revealed that she was ailing from broken heart syndrome.
ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and blood thinners were given for her.
She did, however, become one of the one in ten patients who experienced a repeat of broken heart syndrome.
Three years after her initial incident, she had the same searing sensation in her chest after learning about an unconnected medical problem.
She now has persistent chest discomfort and shortness of breath, and she lives in constant terror of another stroke.
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