We've heard the story many times.  The husband or wife in an elderly couple who have been together decades dies, and within a few days, so does the surviving spouse.

It is such a heart-wrenching event, that we all imagine that the survivor died of a broken heart. It was even assumed that is what happened to actor Debbie Reynolds when her daughter Carrie Fisher died this past December.

Well, a doctor at Genesis Health Systems in the Quad Cities says that dying of a broken heart is a real thing... in a manner of speaking.

WQAD's Elizabeth Wadas explains how.