Mother of Christchurch Mosque Victim Dies of Heart Attack After Learning the News

Tiffany Meier
By Tiffany Meier
March 23, 2019World News
Mother of Christchurch Mosque Victim Dies of Heart Attack After Learning the News
A Muslim woman photographs a poster hung on the fence of Al Noor mosque after it was officially reopened following last weeks attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 23, 2019. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

The mother of one of the Christchurch Mosque shooting victims has died of a heart attack after attending her son’s funeral, according to a new report.

Saud Abdelfattah Mhaisen Adwan, 65, died of a heart attack on March 23, an official from the Sydney-based Jordanian Embassy said, reported NZHerald.

Her son, Kamel Darwish, 38, was killed in the Al Noor mosque. He was a dairy farm worker and the father of three young children. He had moved to New Zealand from Jordan a year ago to join his older brother. His wife and three children applied for visas to come join him.

A family friend told the outlet that Darwish’s mother traveled from Jordan to New Zealand to attend her son’s funeral.

“She came yesterday to attend the funeral. Apparently this morning she passed away because she couldn’t put up with the sorrow and sadness of losing her son,” the family friend told the NZHerald.

He said Darwish’s family “are arranging to take the coffin back to Jordan.”

Darwish’s mother wasn’t the only one to have suffered a heart attack after learning about the tragedy.

Mohammed Mashud’s wife, Sazada Akhter was shot twice by a gunman at the Masjid Al Noor mosque, according to

He told the outlet that his mother-in-law suffered a heart attack after learning about what happened to her daughter and ended up hospitalized in Bangladesh as a result.

“What can I do?” he said. “I can’t do anything.”

He has not left his wife’s side at the Christchurch Hospital.

His 25-year-old wife is one of the more gravely-injured victims from the mosque attacks. She was shot in the abdomen and chest as she was fleeing the mosque, Mashud told the outlet. She has undergone surgery three times since Saturday, he added.

While he sees that other victims are slowly recovering, his wife still needs more surgery, the doctors told him.

“Other people I see, injured people, they’re moving, talking. They open their eyes. But my wife doesn’t open her eyes,” he said. “No talking. There’s nothing.”

He said the doctors said his wife suffered “a terrible injury and would take a long time [to recover]. [She has a] damaged stomach and liver. The doctors say everything is a mess.”

The two moved to New Zealand six years ago, but most of their families still live in Bangladesh he said. Mashud works at the Christchurch Steel and has no plans to return to Bangladesh.

“There’s lots of helping in New Zealand. Everybody’s helping. The country’s helping,” he said.

Another family that suffered tragedy was 61-year-old Mohsin Al-Harbi and his wife Manal. Al-Harbi, who came from Saudi Arabia, survived the initial attack at the mosque only to die in the hospital, according to the NZHerald.

His wife was so distressed as she searched for him that she suffered a heart attack, collapsed, and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Heart Attack

The most common cause of a heart attack occurs when one or more of a body’s coronary arteries becomes blocked. Coronary arteries can narrow over time due to the buildup of various substances, including cholesterol, according to

However, for the instances above, it seems they suffered from a different kind called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or heart attack resulting from stress. The heart attack is believed to be caused by sudden emotional stress, such as the death of a child, according to Harvard Health. The name derives from a Japanese pot used to trap octopus, as the heart takes on a distinctive shape that’s similar.

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