A 25-year old Stan Larkin wore an artificial heart in a backpack for 555 days after his actual heart transplant.
Larkin diagnosed with familial cardiomyopathy. It is a genetic condition known to cause a heart failure without warning (also one leading causes of death in otherwise healthy athletes). Dominic, brother of Larkin and himself were both fitted with artificial hearts when doctors removed the actual organs.
It is known as SynCardia device fitted with both brothers weighs 13.5 pounds and connected to the vascular system, pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Since Stan’s brother Dominic used the technology for a few short weeks before finding a donor, Stan had to wait more than a year.
“They were both very, very ill when we first met them in our intensive care units,” said Jonathan Haft, surgeon behind the transplant from University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Centre. “We wanted to get them heart transplants, but we didn’t think we had enough time. There’s just something about their unique anatomic situation where other technology wasn’t going to work.”
Finally, Stan received his donor in May this year, since he thrived on the device and manage to amaze the doctors when he’s enjoying occasional game of pickup basketball, of how far he was able to push the envelope, an evidence that he has now fully recovered from the procedure.