Texas resident Joanie Simpson woke up one morning suffering from a sharp pain in her back. When she turned herself over, her chest began to radiate a great deal more pain. In a short period of time, Joanie Simpson wound up in the emergency room, displaying symptoms of a heart attack.
Soon after, Joanie was airlifted to the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Texas Medical Centre in Houston, where physicians were preparing for her arrival to treat her for what appeared to be an obvious heart attack. When Simpson arrived at the facility, doctors diagnosed her with something very different.
Joanie Simpson was suffering from clear signs of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, otherwise known as “stress cardiomyopathy.” It’s a condition that mimics the symptoms of a regular heart attack, usually brought on by high stress, anxiety, or a broken heart, resulting from the loss of a loved one or a relationship break-up.
In Joanie Simpson’s case, this is an unfortunate result of the loss of her pet dog, Meha, a sweet Yorkshire Terrier who meant a great deal to the woman. Simpson made a statement that the death of her pet left her ‘inconsolable.’ Simpson took the death of Meha very hard, and as a result, the heartbreak landed her in the hospital.
Treatment for Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy is mostly supportive in nature, as there is no advanced medical treatment necessary for the heart. When doctors looked at Joanie Simpson’s heart, they found her arteries to be quite clear and healthy.
The loss of any pet or loved one has obvious stress symptoms, resulting in anxiety, lack of sleep, and even can manifest as physical pain in the case of Joanie Simpson.
For now, Joanie lives with her cat Buster and has yet to find a dog with as deep a connection to her as Meha. She is recovering with the supportive help of family and friends during her difficult time.
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