By Jane Nambi
A 68 year old man from Cannock, Staffordshire cannot feel sad, he laughs all the time.
The change in attitude came after he had a stroke that landed him in hospital for 19 weeks way back in 2004. However, since then, he has failed to feel sad whatsoever, he is always happy. “Now I barely even notice that I don’t feel sadness. It’s only other people that give me funny looks. There must be a part of the brain that remembers jokes. I love telling them. I always have, but now I want other people to feel happy too,” Chirpy Malcolm Myatt said.
Malcom was hit by a stroke on the frontal lobe of his brain that controls emotions but has little feeling in his left side. His wife Kath noticed the changes in her husband soon afterwards. Talking about his situation, he said, “I am never depressed. I would rather be happy all the time than the other way round.”
Before the stroke, Malcolm was fit and healthy and played football until he was 52. He was also a referee. “The day before the stroke I’d driven the length of the M1. Later, I went downstairs and made toast and coffee – but by the time I got upstairs I’d spilt half the coffee and the butter was an inch thick. The doctors didn’t know if I was going to make it through the night – they told Kath to prepare for the worst. But I was still hanging around days later. I say thank you every morning I wake up.”
Talking about her husband’s behavior change, Kath said, “He’s very childish now. It’s infectious. When Malcolm starts laughing everyone in the room does. If he’s in hysterics, everyone else is too. It has affected his short term memory. He can remember things he did 20 years ago but cannot remember the last week. Malcolm just says what he thinks, he sometimes doesn’t understand that it’s rude. If someone has an ugly dog, he’ll tell them. It’s worst when we go to a funeral. He’ll still be smiling and telling jokes while everyone else is completely sombre. The doctors told me that I shouldn’t apologise for him but sometimes I have to explain his situation.”