Losing one parent is hard enough, but imagine losing two in the same day. This is a circumstance that most wouldn’t want to think about, but for former New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills quarterback Doug Flutie, it was his grim reality.
On Wednesday, November 18, Flutie shared a message to his followers on Facebook, revealing that his father, Dick, and mother, Joan, had died, not just on the same day, but within the same hour. In a lengthy post, that included a picture of his parents, Flutie explained what had happened, describing the events of that day.
Apparently, Flutie’s father had been ill for some time, and after suffering a heart attack in the hospital, passed away. Within the hour, Flutie’s mother suffered the same fate. She had a sudden heart attack, and died.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am making this statement,” Flutie wrote on Wednesday. “This morning my family experienced the tragic loss of my father, Dick and mother, Joan. My Dad had been ill and died of a heart attack in the hospital and my Mom, less than an hour later had a sudden heart attack and passed away. They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it.”
Doug Flutie, the 1984 Heisman Trophy winner at Boston College, went on to discuss his parents’ lives, and how they always made sure they were there for their children no matter what.
“I would like to honor my parents for all that they did throughout my and my brothers’ and sister’s lives,” Flutie continued. “My parents were always there for their children, from the days my Dad coached us as kids and my Mom would work the concession stands, through to this morning. The most important part of their 56 years of marriage was providing opportunities to their children. They were incredible parents and Grandparents and my family and I will miss them both.”
To conclude his post, Flutie took the opportunity to thank his fans, friends, and family members for their love and support during this difficult time.
“On behalf of me and the entire Flutie family, I would like to thank you all for your well wishes and prayers during this difficult time,” he wrote.
Flutie said he believes his mother died from a broken heart, and according to health care professionals, it is a definite possibility. Chief medical officer at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center Dr. Richard Nesto said people have been dying from “broken hearts” for years, WCVB reports.
— Hamilton Spectator (@TheSpec) November 19, 2015
“I think that’s an apt description, and that’s the description that’s been used for years,” Dr. Nesto said. “The Japanese described it centuries ago, the broken heart syndrome.”
“We have seen this in 40-year-old people within an hour, two hours or a couple of days experiencing a similar, similar situation,” Nesto added, explaining that the symptoms appear to be that of a heart attack, but the person does not have any blocked arteries.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) November 19, 2015
According to the Associated Press, reported via MSN,Doug Flutie played 13 seasons in the NFL with Chicago, New England, Buffalo, and San Diego. He later spent a year with the USFL with New Jersey. He also won three Grey Cup titles during his eight seasons in the Canadian Football League with British Columbia, Calgary, and Toronto.
[Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]