The December 9, 2015 death of Kate, his wife of 35 years from cancer complications, left former soccer great Stephen Keshi, who died early this morning ( Wednesday, June 8) disoriented, inconsolable, heart broken, depressed and empty. And sources close to the ex-Super Eagles captain and later coach have attributed his death, apart from the cardiac arrest and hypertension, to a broken heart.
And in truth, one can die of a broken heart.
Here is how a broken heart can eventually lead to death:
1. Researchers have found out that losing a soulmate, someone you are deeply in love with, a companion of many years (in Keshi’s case, over 35 years), can leave you inconsolable, in deep depression and irreversible stress. This feeling of utter helplessness can make the muscle around your heart to swell and induce a heart attack.
2. The United States of America’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute described ‘broken heart syndrome’ as a ” condition in which extreme stress can lead to heart muscle failure. The failure is severe, but often short-term.”
3. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre researchers discovered that the chances of a heart attack increases by 21 times 24 hours after losing a loved one, a divorce or break up.
4. In the week following the distressing episode, chances of a heart attack decreased to 8 times than for one who is happy.
5. But in cases of prolonged depression due to loss of a loved one, the damage to the organs in the body may be irreversible.