Michigan: A 25-year-old Michigan man lived for 555 days, without a human heart inside his body. Instead, he wore an ‘artificial heart’ in a backpack 24/7 for 555 days, which pumped blood around his body and kept him alive. He had a transplant in May and could go home as early as next week.
Stan Larkin a typical young adult was waiting for a human heart transplant. He and his brother Dominique had both been diagnosed as teenagers with familial cardiomyopathy, which is a genetic heart condition that can cause heart failure without any warning. Their real heart was removed from his body in November 2014. It was replaced the Syncardia device.
“They were both very, very ill when we first met them in our intensive care units,” said the surgeon behind the transplant, Jonathan Haft , from the 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.”
Dominique stayed in the hospital with his device for six weeks before receiving a human heart transplant. But with the new device, Stan was allowed to leave and live his life.
Stan said.”I was shocked when the doctors started telling me that I could live without a heart in my body and that a machine was going to be my heart. Just think about it – a machine.”
Finally Stan got his donor this year, in May. Now, he is recovering from his procedure at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
“Most people would be scared to go so long with [an artificial heart], but I just want to tell them that you have to go through the fear, because it helps you,” Stan said. “I’m going home so fast after the transplant because it helped me stay healthy before the transplant.”
According to the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. there are about 4,000 patients nationwide waiting for human heart transplants.