Former Eagle Jon Dorenbos stopped by The Ellen Show this week and discussed his recent open-heart surgery and the condition that led to it after being traded to the New Orleans Saints.
An 11-year Eagles veteran, Dorenbos was traded to the Saints over the summer, which led doctors to discover signs of an aortic aneurysm that required immediate surgery. The condition also forced Dorenbos to retire from football.
He underwent the procedure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. According to an Instagram post from the former football star, Dorenbos remained in the hospital for a month:
One month ago today I underwent emergency open heart surgery. My wife never left my side. She held my hand every step of the way. Life is crazy. One min I was a professional athlete, the next min I was fighting for my life. The video in this collage shows how the simplest things in life we sometimes take for granted. May we all be thankful for the beautiful people and world that surround us every day. To the UPENN Cardiac Care Nurses (Silver10) you all are #Saints – thank you! You make this world a better place. #SpecialPeople – Dr Bavaria, whom performed my surgery, I love you man!! You are a genius. You are an artist. You are a savant. Thank you for making valve replacement and aortic aneurysms your thing!! You are the best in the world for a reason. This world is a better place with you in it #ImAlive #goodDay
A post shared by Jon Dorenbos (@jondorenbos) on Oct 12, 2017 at 3:13pm PDT
Dorenbos opened up about the ordeal to DeGeneres on Monday, saying he had an aorta “the size of a Coke can” that could have led to his death on the field.
“When my heart was pumping blood out, a lot of blood was leaking back in. It was working really hard,” Dorenbos said. “[My aorta] was expanding like a water balloon … Mine was the size of a Coke can. They basically told me, ‘Had you been hit in the chest on Monday Night Football, the odds were far greater that you would die than live.’”
Today, Dorenbos says he is doing well, and even recently bought a dog he named Saint. We think “Swoop” would have sounded just as good, though.
Check out the segment: