A family who lost their aunt and uncle just four days apart say 91-year-old Audrey Pettit died of a “broken heart” after her husband of 68 years succumbed to deep vein thrombosis, which had spread to his lungs.
“She was lost without him,” Janice Curran, told SWNS of her aunt. “When he was in hospital for a short time she was completely lost. They were always together, they never spent a day apart.”
Audrey and Les Pettit of Suffolk, England, met when they were both around age 19 and married in June 1951. They struggled with infertility but adored their many nieces and nephews, Curran told the news outlet.
“I always called them my second mom and dad,” she told the news outlet. “We’re happy that they’re together again.”
Les Pettit died at age 93 on July 10, while Audrey followed him just four days later after suffering from heart failure. Curran said the pair handn’t spent a day apart since getting married.
“Audrey had other health problems and I never knew her to have heart problems,” she told SWNS. “I think in a way she did die of a broken heart.”
According to the American Heart Association, suffering from a broken heart can lead to health complications. Broken heart syndrome, also known as stressed-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy can cause intense chest pain as a response to a surge of stress hormones. Death, divorce, breakup or physical separation can be culprits, and it can be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because symptoms and test results are similar.
The syndrome can even lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure, according to the American Heart Association, but in most cases it can be treated.