US Man Lives 18 Months Without A Heart

Posted: Jun 11 2016, 7:07am CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

US Man Lives 18 Months Without a Heart
After living more than a year with a wearable total artificial heart device, Stan Larkin, 25, returned to the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center for a heart transplant. Credit: University of Michigan Health System
  • Man Lives 555 Days on an Artificial Heart in a Backpack.

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A Michigan resident survived for over a year on an artificial heart device which he carried around in a backpack.

25 years old Stan Larkin and his brother Dominique were diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), a rare genetic heart condition commonly known as familial cardiomyopathy.

The disease weakens the ability of the heart to pump blood. Dr. Jonathan Haft, a cardiac surgeon at the University of Michigan who operated on the brothers explained that the type of cardiomyopathy seen in Stan and Dominique, causes arrhythmias and failure on both sides of the heart.

In November 2014, both the brothers were close to heart failure. Their only option was heart transplant but the organs for transplant were unavailable. Both brothers were offered an alternate solution.

Artificial heart machines developed by SynCardia Total Artificial Hearts while they waited for actual hearts. Dominique luckily received a matching organ just six weeks after the artificial heart transplant.

Stan was however put on the waiting list. He has been living on an artificial heart for the past 555 days, according to CNN. The SynCardia temporary artificial heart in Larkin's chest replaced his failing heart,including its chambers and four valves.

Two tubes, exiting the left side of Stan's body beneath the ribcage, connected the artificial heart to a 13-pound machine called the Freedom Driver. The driver, which was carried in a backpack, not only powered the artificial heart, it delivered pumps of compressed air into the heart's ventricles, allowing blood to be pumped through the body.

Stan took good care of his health and the artificial heart machine that was sustaining his life. Stan lived his life as normally as he could. He played pick-up games of basketball, enjoyed time with his children and rode in the car with his friends.

Voncile McCrae, Larkin's mother, often helped him change the bandages covering the holes in his body where the tubes emerged. She said that they did their best to avoid any infection. She claims that she has become a pro by now.

Stan just recently received an actual heart in May. He is currently recovering from his procedure at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Centre.

He is scheduled to return home as early as next week. He said that you have to have the courage in the procedure and dedicate yourself to make it work. He also encouraged people to donate organs. He said that you could save a life one day by donating your organs.

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