Without a heart we can’t live, that’s what we have all been taught since we were small, but Stan Larkin has proved that this is just not the case. Stan and his brother were diagnosed with familial cardiomyopathy in their teens, a condition that slowly causes heart failure. In December 2014 doctors decided that it was a risk leaving Stan’s failing heart inside of him and instead take it out and replace it with the SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver, a machine that weighs 13.5-pound and uses compressed air to take over the heart’s job of pumping blood through the body.
Stan became the first person in Michigan to have his heart replaced with the machine and having lived without a heart for 17 months; Stan finally received a new heart. The heart transplant went well and Stan is now living with a heart in his body again.
While living without a heart, Stan pushed the machine to its very limit surprising doctors and developers just how amazing their technology was. Celebrated as a hero for doing so, Stan maintained a somewhat active lifestyle playing basketball and various other intense activities, something that is unheard of in the medical community. The SynCardia machine is designed for use in the case of total heart failure, which makes Stan’s active lifestyle a milestone in medical engineering. Stan’s older brother also received the machine, however, this after Stan underwent his heart transplant.
It’s amazing what technology is capable of, and we can expect even greater leaps in the development of body augmentations in the future. The mere thought of someone living a somewhat active lifestyle without a heart in their body is almost unreal. However, that is the current state of medical engineering, and we can be sure to read a bunch more incredible news in the near future.
Two weeks after his heart transplant, Stan is doing great and says that he feels like taking a jog even as he’s being interviewed. He also says that he would one day like to meet the family of the person who gave themselves for him if they would like to meet him.
Stan Larking – Living Without A Heart For 17 Months