Doug Flutie's father, Richard Flutie, and his mother, Joan Flutie, died Wednesday morning. They had been married for 56 years."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," Doug Flutie wrote on his Facebook page. "They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it." "I think that's an apt description, and that's the description that's been used for years," Dr. Richard Nesto, chief medical officer at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, said. "The Japanese described it centuries ago, the broken heart syndrome."
Nesto said the syndrome mimics a heart attack with no sign of blocked arteries"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 said."My Dad coached us as kids and my Mom would work the concession stands," Doug Flutie wrote. "They were incredible parents and my family and I will miss them both."Richard Flutie and Joan Flutie leave behind three other children, in addition to Doug Flutie."It's crazy when something like this happens," Doug Flutie's friend, Peter Salis, said. "It's just heartbreaking." Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass to win a game against Miami in 1984 is widely considered to be among the greatest plays in collegiate sports history.Doug Flutie, now 53, won the Heisman Trophy that year, though the voting had been completed before the "Miracle in Miami" pass."Without the Hail Mary pass I think I could have been very easily forgotten," said Doug Flutie years later.He played for the New England Patriots from 1987-1989 and played several seasons in the Canadian Football League before finishing his career with the Patriots in 2005.