Ever since Malcolm Myatt suffered a stroke in 2004, the Englishman couldn’t be any happier.
The stroke suffered by Myatt, 68, damaged the right frontal lobe section of his brain, which controls the ability to have emotions. But since the stroke, Myatt has not been able to feel sadness.
“I am never depressed. I would rather be happy all the time than the other way round,” the retired trucker said Monday in the Mirror. “Now I barely even notice that I don’t feel sadness. It’s only other people that give me funny looks.”
Always a jokester even before the stroke, Myatt’s condition now causes him to crack up at funerals and makes everyone laugh from his giddiness.
“I’ve always been a happy person and loved telling jokes, but now I don’t ever feel sad,” Myatt told the Daily Mail. “I remember that I used to be able to feel sad, if something bad happened – but it just doesn’t happen anymore. I would definitely rather be happy all the time than the other way round.”
Myatt’s wife, Kath Myatt, said her husband’s demeanor spreads joy to those around him.
“He’s very childish now. It’s infectious. When Malcolm starts laughing everyone in the room does,” she told the Mirror. "If he’s in hysterics, everyone else is too.”
But the aftereffects of the stroke have also limited Malcolm Myatt’s short-term memory, his wife said.
“He can remember things he did 20 years ago but cannot remember the last week,” she said. Other drawbacks include that her husband will say whatever comes to him – for instance, he wasn’t shy about telling someone that their dog looks ugly.
“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,” she told the Mirror.
Kath Myatt also said she frets anytime she and her husband have to attend a funeral for fear of what he might blurt out.
“We have been to funerals and I’ve been on tenterhooks wondering what he might come out with,” she told the Daily Mail.
“It’s worst when we go to a funeral. He’ll still be smiling and telling jokes while everyone else is completely somber,” she added to the Mirror. ““The doctors told me that I shouldn’t apologize for him but sometimes I have to explain his situation.”
Malcolm Myatt suffered the stroke when he was 52 years old, and the early warning signs were a sloppily made breakfast and dropping coffee.
“The doctors didn’t know if I was going to make it through the night – they told Kath to prepare for the worst,” he said, adding that he was in the hospital for 19 weeks. "But I was still hanging around days later. I say thank you every morning I wake up.”