Andrej Gajdos was a 19-year-old bodybuilder in the United Kingdom (UK) who stood 7 feet and 2 inches and weighed about 280 pounds. The Slovakia-born teen aspired to become the next Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, whose shot to fame started with bodybuilding. Unfortunately, the dream ended with Gajdos' untimely death.
An average human heart is about 400 grams. Following an artery burst that killed Gajdos, his heart weighed 680 grams, coroners said. The fitness aficionado collapsed in front of Tesco, a seaside supermarket in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. The heart's main artery - thoracic aorta - burst, killing Gajdos almost instantly.
Gajdos' weight training program was put under the spotlight. The teenager went to the gym twice a day. Doctors found traces of testosterone and anabolic steroids in his system. Anabolic steroid promotes muscle growth by mimicking testosterone. Gajdos' parents reported four types of steroids found in his apartment.
Avon Coroner's investigation found that Gajdos' organs were larger compared to an average person's. The added weight might have strained is heart muscles.
"He wasn't a normal man. It is extremely rare for a young person to have a torn aorta like that. I have only seen one other case in 15 years", said Dr. John Oxley who performed Gajdos' autopsy.
Oxley added that the steroids might have caused the heart's enlargement and increased the risk of thoracic break. Steroids might have played a part in Gajdos' death but Oxley didn't pinpoint the steroids as the exact cause. He suspected that the aspiring bodybuilder might have used the drugs for a substantial amount of time for his heart to get this big. The case is so rare it could also be a genetic disorder.
Doctors suspected Gajdos suffered from acromegaly, a case of excessive growth hormones, but never confirmed. A few years back, Gajdos was diagnosed with bronchiectasis or enlarged bronchi. Assistant coroner Dr. Peter Harrowing said genetics remains a possible cause of Gajdos' death. The thoracic rupture was a rare event and most likely caused by genetics.
"He was known and loved by many people", said Gajdos' grieving mother, Desana Krajcikova, who disclosed to the public that their family has reached the verdict they needed. "Burying your son isn't something anyone should ever have to do."
Gajdos started going to the gym at the age of 16. He started out as a skinny teenager but developed a liking to weightlifting. The combination of rigorous training, food consumption and steroids transformed him from a skinny kid to a lean powerhouse of muscles.
Drug advice website Talk to Frank listed risk factors in taking steroids. Side effects include liver failure, heart attack and high blood pressure. Male steroid users are continuously warned of lesser but harrowing side effects such as breast enlargement, hair loss and erection problems. Female side effects include menstrual problems, breasts shrinkage and excessive facial hair.