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Published: Thu, June 09, 2016
Health | By Bessie Ortiz

Man lives for over a year without a heart in his body

Man lives for over a year without a heart in his body

As teens, Larkin and his brother were both diagnosed with familial cardiomyopathy, which is a genetic heart condition that can lead to heart failure with no warning

When their hearts could no longer sustain them and other conventional measures wouldn't work, the pair underwent surgery to have their hearts removed and replaced with a SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, a device that does the work of the heart for the patient and is used when there are no other treatment options.

While Dominique only needed the device for a couple of weeks, Stan was plugged into his 24 hours per day for 555 days, finally receiving a full transplant on the 9th May 2016.

So back in 2014, he was fitted with a Syncardia device - a temporary and completely artificial human heart.

"We wanted to get heart transplants, but we didn't think we had enough time", said Dr. Jonathan Haft, an associate professor that worked with Larkin, in a press release.

Larkin described the whole experience as an "emotional rollercoaster".

"I felt like before I had any heart problems, I felt like I can do what I want". "I'd like to meet their family one day, and hopefully they'd want to meet me", Stan Larkin said.

'Patients who meet discharge criteria can then leave the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home and in their communities'.

Larkin stunned doctors by being able to continue playing basketball, despite having a backpack the weight of almost four Macbook Pros strapped to his back 24 hours a day.

The machine weighs 13.5 pounds and it uses compressed air to pump blood through the body.

"This wasn't made for pick-up basketball. And, so he really pushed the envelope at least as far as what the company's intentions were with this technology".

This allows patients to recharge their batteries while traveling and at night while they are sleeping.

 

According to the American Heart Association, there are about 5.7 million Americans living with heart failure - 10 percent of whom have advanced heart failure.

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