The pair had been married for 24 years until Irma Garcia died shielding her students after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in a Texas school.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing
The husband of one of the teachers killed in the Texas school shooting has now tragically collapsed and died.
Less than two days after Irma Garcia was killed by an 18-year-old gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, her husband and college sweetheart, Joe Garcia, collapsed and died. Doctors said it is a potential example of "broken heart syndrome." Garcia was preparing for his wife's funeral when he suddenly collapsed. The couple leaves behind four children. "No child should have to go through this," said a relative. Garcia had been married to Irma for 24 years. Within a span of 3 days, four children lost both parents. John Martinez, Irma Garcia’s nephew said the family was heartbroken. “I don’t even know how to feel. I don’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it,” said Martinez, reported NBC News. Irma Garcia was one of two teachers who were killed along with 19 other children by the gunman on Tuesday. Eva Mireles was the other teacher who died. Irma and Mireles had died trying to protect the students in their classroom. Her son Christian Garcia said a friend in law enforcement at the scene saw his mother shielding the children in her class.
My Tia Irma and Joe garcia were high school sweethearts and leave behind 4 beautiful children, their ages being 23, 19, 15 and the youngest only being 13 years old, no child should have to go through this, my heart breaks for them— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
Martinez was told that Joe Garcia “went to go deliver flowers for Irma at the memorial for her." Joe Garcia would get back home and collapse. "When he got home, he was at home for no more than three minutes after sitting down on a chair with the family. He just fell over. They tried doing chest compressions, and nothing worked. The ambulance came, and they couldn’t, they couldn’t bring them back,” said Martinez, who learned the news from his younger brother. “He called me and he said, like, ‘Please pray for Joe.’ That’s all he told me," said Martinez. "And I said, 'What happened?' And he was like: 'I don’t know. We don’t know yet.' And then I get a call, I think no more than 30 minutes later, with him crying and saying he didn’t make it.”
Joe Garcia, the husband of Irma Garcia, one of two teachers shot and killed in Uvalde, TX on Tuesday, has reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack. Joe and Irma were high school sweethearts and married 24 years. They leave behind four children. pic.twitter.com/Rlk0M2B8nR— Ernie Zuniga (@Ernie_Zuniga) May 26, 2022
Doctors said it was potentially a case of "broken heart syndrome," formally known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, that usually occurs in response to extreme stressors like the sudden death of a spouse. Heart attacks are caused by blocked arteries, but in this case, the broken heart syndrome release bursts of stress hormones that prevent their hearts from contracting properly. “It’s a classic case of broken heart syndrome from what’s been described,” said Dr. Deepak Bhatt, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Bhatt said he was speculating given the nature of death and the stress that followed the passing of his wife. Dr. Bhatt said one could confirm if it was a standard heart attack or broken heart syndrome after obtaining X-ray imaging or an autopsy. “Either type of heart attack can be triggered by extreme emotional stress of the sort that would happen if someone just heard, for example, that their wife had died,” said Bhatt. “In some cases, it might be a day later. It might be when someone realizes: ‘Oh, wow, my loved one actually is dead. They’re really not coming back,’” said Bhatt.
EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy pic.twitter.com/GlUSOutRVV— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
It was a relative of Irma Garcia that confirmed she had died in the school shooting, on Tuesday. "My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. I beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers. IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. She was loved by many and will truly be missed," they wrote. She was described as "sweet, kind, loving," in a GoFundMe campaign that was started to help cover her funeral expenses. "Fun with the greatest personality. A wonderful 4th-grade teacher at Robb Elementary, who was a victim in a Texas school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. She sacrificed herself to protect the kids in her classroom. She was a hero."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe
The school shooting at Uvalde, Texas, is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Women Working is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.
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