Vegan Athlete With Aortic Stent: Luckier Than Albert Einstein!

FitOldDog Is A Lucky Aortic Patient

Research Investment, And Lots Of People Thinking!

Aortic stent, saved FitOldDog's life, and still doing Ironman.

Yep! Athlete with Stent, alright. A Cook Zenith Stent Graft. Thanks so much, Cook Medical. Selfie by FitOldDog CLICK image to watch stent deployment – AMAZING!

Aortic stent technology has come a long way. Thank goodness. I was in the hospital overnight, for my abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft placement. Almost six(6) years later, I’m still competing in Ironman races.

Here is a little aboutĀ Albert Einstein’s treatment for AAA – the best available at the time (Full article on Albert Einstein’s AAA at this link):

einstein_at_blackboardPolyethene cellophane is a tissue irritant, producing marked fibrosis. Dr. Nissen wrapped the visible anterior portion of the aneurysm with this type of cellophane, in the hopes of stimulating an intense fibrous tissue reaction that would strengthen the bulging aortic wall. Einstein recovered from the operation, and after a 3-week hospital stay, returned to his home in Princeton, New Jersey.

Following this palliative operation, Einstein lived for 5 more productive years with only minor symptoms. In 1952, he was offered and declined the presidency of Israel. He published his last scientific paper in 1954, in the Annals of Mathematics. During this period he had occasional back pain and pain in his right upper quadrant, labeled as “chronic cholecystitis.”

aortic stent, saved FitOldDog's life, much later.

Little did I know that I was going to follow in Einstein’s footsteps, aorta-wise. In fact, I’d never heard of Albert Einstein. The only Albert I knew was a Gorilla at the Bristol Zoo. FitOldDog is on the right.

On Tuesday, April 12, 1955 [FitOldDog was 12-years old at that time], Einstein developed abdominal pain, which became more severe on the following day. Although Einstein must have realized that the aneurysm had finally burst, he initially refused hospitalization. He finally agreed to be admitted to the Princeton Hospital, only because he felt he was becoming too much of a burden at home. He was seen by Frank Glenn, MD, then Chief of Surgery at New York Hospital, who diagnosed cholecystitis and a leaking abdominal aneurysm. Glenn recommended resection of the aneurysm, even though the operation was new. At that time, Dr. Glenn had only done a few such operations, using cadaver grafts to replace the aorta. Einstein refused surgery, saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”

Boy, had he done his share.

We are lucky to live in these times.

My stent was ‘rescued’ from the effects of a bike wreck, in 2013, usingĀ even more impressive, and magical, surgery.

Yes! It’s good to be alive.

Don’t waste one day.

Happy Trails,


PS AAA is more common than you might think, so consider having your aorta scanned if you’re in doubt. An ultrasound is only about $100, which could save your life. There’s an AAA screening program in the UK, but not in the US, so we need to raise awareness. If you have an AAA, you can find lots of support on the Facebook Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Awareness Page, or via Information Links, on this site.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.