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Flight Check
by Tribune Staff
Dec 22, 2011 | 1243 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Santa Claus gets his heart checked Wednesday with an old-fashioned stethoscope by Dr. Larry M. Noble (above) and then gets a reading on a heart monitor by cardio technician Bart Miller (below).
Tribune/John Byrne - Santa Claus gets his heart checked Wednesday with an old-fashioned stethoscope by Dr. Larry M. Noble (above) and then gets a reading on a heart monitor by cardio technician Bart Miller (below).
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RENO — When Santa Claus came for his annual checkup at Renown Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, he had one main concern: his heart.

“I have a big heart,” the jolly old elf told cardiologist Dr. Larry M. Noble.

“You have the biggest heart in the world,” Noble said. “You have to make all these children happy and that’s a hard thing to do.”

Noble said he also likes to see most of his patients with less of a belly than Claus has, since the fat increases risk of heart attack. Enduring the cold of the North Pole, however, makes the layer of insulation more beneficial to St. Nick’s health, Noble said.

“Santa’s case is a special case, as we all know, so he uses this for insulation much like the whales and seals do. This allows him to get around and do his job. In this case he’s an exception to the rule. For the rest of the general public, we like to have that tummy flat. When he retires, we can work on that.”

Santa said he was very confident in his health and his ability to perform his annual task of delivering toys around the world on Saturday night.

Wednesday’s diagnosis showed that Santa’s heart is healthy and he passed a stress test with flying colors. So how, after all these years of work, does Santa stay in such great shape?

“The biggest thing that I do is I just keep busy. I’m off one week and then we’re back making all the toys and getting all the presents,” he said. “We work with it all year and we work with the reindeer. They keep me in shape and I keep them in shape. Just busy, busy, busy.”

One of Santa’s biggest challenges over the years has been his consumption of cookies and milk — a common gift left for Claus at millions of households every year.

“I do cut back, but that night I don’t cut back,” he said, “because then I get a week off and then I go back to the routine. You know, everybody has to splurge once in a while.”

Those who want to help spoil Santa on his one big night of the year shouldn’t assume that he just wants regular old chocolate chip cookies.

“I like oatmeal raisin best,” the elf said.
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Flight Check by Tribune Staff


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