Incredible new medical technology allowed 25-year-old Stan Larkin to live with his heart outside of his body, in a bag that he carries on his back.
Although there are over 100,000 Americans on the organ transplant list, new medical technology is giving patients the ability to live comfortably until necessary organs become available.
Stan Larkin, who is now 25-years-old, suffers from familial cardiomyopathy, a condition that slowly causes heart failure. For the past 17 months, Larkin has been living thanks to the help of SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver, which is “a 13.5-pound machine that uses compressed air to take over the heart’s job of pumping blood through the body.”
Johnathan Haft is a surgeon from the University of Michigan who performed both procedures on Larkin as well as Larkin’s brother who suffers from a similar condition.”They were both very, very ill when we first met them in our intensive care units,” Haft said. “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.”
Thanks to the temporary machine that performed his heart’s job for 17 months, Larkin was finally able to get a heart transplant in May 2016.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster,” Larkin said at news conference. “I got the transplant two weeks ago and I feel like I could take a jog as we speak. I want to thank the donor who gave themselves for me. I’d like to meet their family one day. Hopefully they’d want to meet me.”