Woman Suffers Literal Heart Break After Her Dog Dies

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A woman from Texas was hospitalised for a possible heart attack, however the doctors later found out that she was not exactly suffering from a cardiac arrest but actually had the symptoms of a "broken heart" syndrome after her beloved dog died recently.

Her story, that has since then been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, exemplifies the physical damage that overwhelming sadness can do to one's body in the wake of a loss.

Doctors prepared to receive a patient who was showing signs of a heart attack but when they did tests on her, she was diagnosed with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a condition which mimics heart attacks.

According to Harvard Medical School, the condition is most common in women between the age of 58 to 75.

Ms Simpson believes the emotional incident that pushed her over the edge was the death of her dog, a nine-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Meha. "The kids were grown and out of the house, so she was our little girl", said Simpson.

But when the dog was diagnosed with congenital heart failure, Simpson decided it was best to have her euthanized.

Simpson had made an appointment to have her euthanised in May a year ago but when the day came, the dog seemed fine so she canceled the appointment. All the stress grouped together and created a time-bomb that made her chest hurt. Simpson felt devastated, but she would have never thought the death of her dog would threaten to bring her own death.

"It was such a horrendous thing to have to witness", Simpson said. "I mean everything just weighs on you".

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is commonly called "Broken Heart Syndrome".

For Simpson, Meha was her daughter. She was sent home after two days, and though she still takes two heart medications, she is doing fine.

This is not the first time that someone's heart has literally been broken after the death of their pet. But you know what? It's the other side of the coin, in which people find themselves sometimes more comfortable loving pets than people.

There's no denying the huge role pets play in many people's lives, not only providing love and companionship, but also numerous proven health benefits. (Takotsubo is the word in Japanese for an octopus trap, which looks similar to hearts with this condition.) Though it feels like a heart attack, the cause isn't arteries around the heart being blocked. That's not going to stop me'. I will continue to have pets.

At the Vascular Institute, doctors discovered she wasn't suffering from a heart attack at all.

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