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25-year-old man lived 555 days with no heart in his body while thriving on a heart machine he carried in a backpack...

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Holy smokes.

Getting an organ transplant isn't simple. There simply aren't enough organs available to accommodate everyone who needs one. In the US alone, there are over 121,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list, and an average of 22 people die every day due to lack of available transplant organs.

For heart patients, an amazing new technology has just been proven able to keep patients alive until that crucial organ becomes available. Stan Larkin, now 25, has just received a heart transplant after living for 17 months on an external total artificial heart.

Larkin and his older brother had been diagnosed when they were teens with familial cardiomyopathy, a condition that slowly causes heart failure. In December 2014, Larkin's failing heart was removed, and he became the first patient in Michigan to be fitted with the SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver, a 13.5-pound machine that uses compressed air to take over the heart's job of pumping blood through the body. 

This machine is designed for use in the case of total heart failure, where the devices designed to assist in partial failure are no longer viable. It needs to be carried around in a backpack. Larkin's older brother also relied on a total artificial heart, but he received his after Larkin and was able to receive a heart transplant in 2015.

"They were both very, very ill when we first met them in our intensive care units," said Jonathan Haft, University of Michigan associate professor of cardiac surgery, and the surgeon who performed both procedures on Larkin. "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.

Larkin finally received his heart transplant in May 2016.


Some of us are waiting for an invite to Imzy and until we get one we cannot view the comments ...

(I've requested one from the site.)

I think I can invite you from the kindness community. Check your gmail.

THANK YOU.  I'm in.  And I went straight to their panda community.  

I think that might have been the first community I made there. :)

Btw how cool is this heart backpack?

AMAZING story.

I thought so too. We live in glorious times!

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