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Is It Possible To Die From A Broken Heart?

AVENTURA (CBS4) - When Orit Mimoun thinks of her Aunt Rozine Hassun and Uncle Albert Hassun, there is nothing but smiles.

'It's a love story. It's very rare," said Mimoun. "You don't find things like that today."

Mimoun is referring to the fact that her aunt and uncle had been married for 67-years. They had two kids, two grandchildren, and had moved to the U.S. from Egypt to work in the garment industry.

"Virtually everything they did was together," Mimoun told CBS4's Cynthia Demos.

She showed Demos pictures of them always touching each other, and always laughing at each others jokes for almost seven decades.

"They were not only husband and wife they were best friends too. It's the joy of life... they had the joy of life together. The joy of life, that's what I would say," said Mimoun.

But as Demos learned, in November of 2010, the joy in Rozine's life ended when Albert died. Her niece said Rozine was here, but was no longer living.

"The day he died it's like Rozine died too," remembered Mimoun.

He was 82. She was 80.

"She had no interest in life anymore," Mimoun observed.

Although Rozine was in perfect health, about seven months after Albert died, she suffered a massive heart attack and died. Was it the result of Broken Heart Syndrome?

"Evidence suggests a love connection between married couples," said Cardiologist Dr. Alan Ackermann.

Dr. Ackermann says it is very rare to die from Broken Heart Syndrome, but it does happen.

"So basically doctors can read emotion. Yes we can. We can even film it," Ackermann insisted as he pointed to an X-Ray.

Typically however, people do recover from the syndrome. It usually mimics a heart attack but with no blockages. It can happen within weeks to a year-and-a-half after a traumatic event.

In this recent presentation to the America Heart Association, 6,000 people with Broken Heart Syndrome  were studied. Most recovered with medicine.

A report from Beth Israel Medical Center, published two weeks ago, shows the immediate effects of Broken Heart Syndrome, which mostly effects women.

"Look at him looking at her grinning right there. That's cute," Mimoun told Demos as they looked at pictures

Orit said some may find it sad that her Aunt's heart was so broken she could no longer live, but she says that to her, it's just a sign that her aunt and uncle had a life worth living.

The Hassun's 68th wedding anniversary would have been this month.


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