Husband of Beloved Teacher Killed in Texas School Shooting Died of a 'Broken Heart,' Family Says
Joe Garcia suffered a fatal heart attack two days after his wife Irma Garcia was one of 21 people killed Tuesday by an 18-year-old armed with an assault rifle. Nineteen children and Irma Garcia's co-teacher, Eva Mireles, were also killed.
The husband of slain teacher Irma Garcia died of a broken heart after losing his wife and the father of their four children in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, his devastated family said.
Joe Garcia suffered a fatal heart attack two days after his wife was one of 21 people killed Tuesday by an 18-year-old armed with an assault rifle. Nineteen children and Irma Garcia's co-teacher, Eva Mireles, were also killed.
Joe Garcia’s final act was laying red roses at the memorial site for his high school sweetheart.
The couple’s now orphaned children, the youngest just 13, attended mass at their local church Thursday. A GoFundMe campaign created by Irma Garcia’s cousin asked that people keep their family in their thoughts and prayers.
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear,” the page read.
Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil told Inside Edition that during broken heart syndrome, the heart actually changes shape.
“It sounds made up, but what it is, the body just from a tremendous stress of an event like this can release these stress hormones, so adrenaline and more adrenaline,” Nampiaparampil said. “With stress hormones, the heart can actually expand so shape of the heart actually changes and they go into heart failure.”
The Garcias were married for 24 years, Irma Garcia wrote on her school biography page. There, she noted she loved to barbecue with her husband, listen to music and take country cruises. She wrote that her and her husband’s eldest son is in Marine boot camp, their other son is in college, and their two daughters are in high school and 7th grade.
“This will be the beginning of my 23rd year of teaching. All of which have been here at Robb Elementary,” she wrote. “I have been a Co-teacher for 5 years now with Ms. Mireles.”
Ross McGlothlin worked with Irma Garcia as Robb Elementary School’s former principal.
“Irma was considered a teacher leader on campus, very well-respected,” she told Inside Edition. “Engaging her students and building personal relationships was how she went about her responsibilities as a teacher and I absolutely can see her doing anything she could to protect her students because she was that kind of a person,” she said.
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