Heart Surgeon Keeps Heart (and Muscles) Pumping of World Record Powerlifter

Pedro Mejias, 36, is of Brooklyn, NY. "I am a professional powerlifter and hold the world record for 645lbs in a bench press." He always went for regular checkups but was told one day that he had an enlarged aorta dangerously measuring 4.9cm.

Pedro Mejias
Photo: New York Daily News
"I needed to hurry up and get it taken care of. Everything came at once. I had to stop lifting, couldn't go to the gym, my whole life was going to change," says Pedro.

"The problem with Pedro is that he had a massive, very thin aorta in which was due to rupture or tear. If he left that alone, one day he would put 700lbs on his chest and his aorta would blow apart. So it needed to be fixed," Says his heart surgeon Allan Stewart, MD, Director of the Center for Aortic Disease at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

On October 8, 2014, Dr. Stewart minimally invasively repaired Pedro's 5.2cm aorta minimally invasive performing a valve sparing root replacement.

"Pedro is doing fantastic now. He has a tiny scar, which is well healed, and he has already started lifting weights again. He feels good," says Dr. Stewart.

"Mount Sinai was amazing," says Pedro. "They made my stay in the hospital short."

Thanks to Mount Sinai and Dr. Stewart, Pedro is already bench pressing over 600lbs again.

Read more about Dr. Stewart and Pedro's medical story in the New York Daily News