93-year-old woman dies of broken heart syndrome after being robbed of late husband's prized possession
A 93-year-old widow tragically died after robbers broke into her house and stole thousands of dollars in goods, including her late husband's prized possession.
Betty Munroe's health rapidly deteriorated following the June 11 incident, where three men gained access to her Northampton, England, home around 11 p.m. using garden shears and convinced the elderly victim they were police officers, according to the Northamptonshire Police Department.
The group then took Munroe's late husband's watch, all of her jewelry, her purse, bank cards and a gold chain from around her neck before fleeing the scene.
Munroe was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after the robbery and suffered repeated nightmares, trouble sleeping and uncontrollable shaking fits.
The grandmother was hospitalized and later diagnosed with takotsubo syndrome, also known as broken heart syndrome.
The disease is characterized by a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, and is often the result of severe emotional or physical stress, such as a sudden illness, the loss of a loved one or a serious accident, according to Harvard Medical School.
Sadly, Munroe succumbed to the condition on Wednesday, according to the Mirror.
Her family members released a statement following the matriarch's death, calling the circumstances surrounding it "distressing."
"Before the burglary, she was happy and living independently in her home of 56 years," her relatives said. "The violent actions of these callous individuals robbed her not only of precious possessions, but of her sense of security and peace and the will to go on."
"All the generations of our family who owe her so much are bereft at her death," they added.
Detective Inspector Simon Barnes of the Northampton Criminal Investigation Department also spoke out following Munroe's death, calling the case heartbreaking.
"Betty was in good health before this incident but she deteriorated very quickly after it and sadly died in her care home this week, surrounded by her family," Barnes said.
"This is one of the saddest cases I have come across during my career and a stark reminder of how deeply a burglary can affect a victim."
He also asked that anyone with information about the burglary contact authorities or submit an anonymous tip to Crimestoppers online.