When Akbar (only his name is known) was 37 years old, he quarreled with a friend. The man could not endure the insults inflicted on him, so he later broke into the offender’s house and committed a brutal murder. This crime is one of those punishable by death in Iran.
For reference, the death penalty still exists in this country. In 2021, 333 people were executed there, up 25% from the year before. In any case, this is stated in the Annual Report on the Death Penalties of Iran. Although these figures may differ from the real picture.
According to Aminata Niakate, a lawyer and president of the Association Against the Death Penalty, Iran does not disclose detailed information about executions, which is why the numbers are likely underestimated and the country is probably second only to China in this indicator.
One way or another, hundreds of people are sentenced to death every year in Iran: for drug trafficking, armed robbery, kidnapping, arson, smuggling, profiteering, murder, and even for regular alcohol consumption.
One of them was Akbar, who committed a murder 18 years ago.
However, the Iranian had very high chances not only to avoid his execution, but even to be released. Why? Officials from the Dispute Resolution Board said the victim’s family decided to forgive the 55-year-old perpetrator, believing that he had received sufficient punishment.
They filed a corresponding request, which sometimes leads to the release of the prisoner.
But, unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Hearing the good news, the convict laughed with happiness, but suddenly felt ill and lost consciousness. The doctors arrived in time only recorded the death of Akbar, who literally died of joy, or rather, of a heart attack.
Sources from the prison said that Akbar was very afraid that his sentence would be carried out, but he always hoped for a favorable outcome. Although he hardly imagined that he would die from the good news, which could be followed by his release.
But how can a person die of joy? According to researchers at the University Hospital Zurich from Switzerland, this is indeed possible. In their opinion, bright, joyful and unexpected events can also be deadly.
Cause? This is because they can cause stress cardiomyopathy, a well-recognized cause of acute heart failure, lethal ventricular arrhythmias, and ventricular wall rupture.
Most often this pathology is called “broken heart syndrome”. Since the cause of this disease is most often a strong emotional shock, such as the loss of a loved one or separation.
But according to Dr. Elena Gadri from the University Hospital of Zurich, positive emotions can also precede this disease. Patients admitted to the emergency room with signs of a heart attack may also be suffering from this rare disease, she said.
So you can die of joy, although this is an extremely rare occurrence and therefore you should not be afraid of it, because it occurs only in 1-2% of patients with acute coronary syndrome.