Success for Angel: Nothing Left Behind
The word “retirement” is not in the vocabulary of Evangelos “Angel” Levas. He started working when he was 10, slicing buns at the hot dog stand that his parents owned in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. After he graduated from the University of Kentucky on an ROTC scholarship, he served as an Air Force officer in Germany before returning home to partner with his brother, John Levas, transforming their parents’ business into the premier fine dining destination in the city. “I was married to the restaurant,” he recalls. “A short day was 14 hours.”
When he closed the restaurant, he entered the next phase of his career, selling microsurgery devices for ophthalmology. “I figured if I could sell hot dogs, I could sell anything,” he jokes. Angel still takes an active interest in the business at the age of 83, as it gives him time to indulge his passion for travel—including to his parents’ homeland of Crete—and leaves time for his many other interests and activities.
Early in 2013, Angel had open surgery on his intestine, and he spent two weeks recovering in the hospital. Less than a year later, he developed an incisional hernia when part of his intestine began to push through his abdominal wall where it had been weakened by the surgery. Frustrated, he sought the advice of J. Scott Roth, MD, a surgeon at the University of Kentucky, who recommended using Bard’s Phasix™ mesh to repair the hernia. Dr. Roth explained that the Phasix® mesh is a fully resorbable synthetic hernia patch that provides a strong, durable repair without leaving foreign material permanently in the body.
“The idea that in a couple of years, no synthetic material would be left in my body really appealed to me,” says Angel. With his recovery behind him, Angel has enjoyed traveling, including visits to ophthalmology symposia in San Diego and Barcelona and his annual visit to Crete. “I don’t have time to put life on hold for another surgery.”