25-Year-Old Man Lived For 555 Days With an External Artificial Heart

By: | June 15th, 2016

Image courtesy University of Michigan Health System

Can you imagine a life of a human being without a heart?

Stan Larkin was the first man to live 555 days with an artificial heart. He used to carry it in a backpack 24/7 for 555 days, before being able to receive a transplant. The success of this procedure gives a ray of hope to patients with total heart failure while they’re waiting for a heart donor.

Stan and his brother Dominique both were suffering from familial cardiomyopathy (a genetic heart condition that can cause heart failure without any warning and is one of the leading causes of death in athletes). In November 2014, Stan and his brother had their hearts removed and were fitted with an artificial heart device known as SynCardia.

More about SynCardia:
SynCardia is a 13.5 pound (6kg) portable device in a backpack. It is connected to a patient’s vascular system to pump blood throughout the body. Dominique used this technology for a few weeks before receiving a full heart transplant. However Stan had to wait for more than a year, so he had to carry his bag which pumped blood around his body and kept him alive. But with this device, he was allowed to stay home instead of living in a hospital while waiting to receive a transplant.

Although Stan couldn’t hold his daughters, surprisingly he managed to continue playing basketball.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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