On International Day of Happiness 2019, we look back at Malcolm Myatt’s curious case, a man whose range of human emotions of ‘sadness’ was stripped away, not for a reason he chose, but because of a tragic stroke. While to be happy at all times sounds like a ‘state’ only existent in the Utopian world, Myatt, then 68 lived in that state from 2004 till his tragic passing away in 2017.
Malcolm Myatt, a retired lorry driver lived a life in a permanent state of happiness after a stroke left him unable to feel sadness. The Daily Mail then reported that the stroke interfered with the part of Mr Myatt’s brain that regulates emotional responses, leaving him liable to erupt in a fit of giggles even at the most inappropriate of times including smiling through funerals cracking jokes, and during meals out with wife his Kath, 63, he regularly attracts puzzled looks from fellow diners.
Experts confirmed that it is not uncommon for strokes to cause psychological, emotional and behavioural changes.
Speaking about this upturn of life events, which, Myatt sees it in a positive light, he said, "I am never depressed. Being sad wouldn't help anything anyway. I would definitely rather be happy all the time than the other way round. It's an advantage really’’.
"The stroke could have become my worst enemy but I wouldn't let it. Now I barely even notice that I don't feel sadness.”
The stroke, according to experts affected the right frontal lobe, the part of the brain that controls emotions and motor function on his left side and doctors initially feared the grandfather-of-two would not pull through, which Myatt proved wrong.
Dubbed as the Happy Man, Myatt passed away in October 20, 2017, while waiting for their train with his wife at the Hednesford railway station Malcolm when he collapsed.