While waiting for a human heart transplant, Stan Larkin lived 555 days without a heart.
In 2016, a 25-year-old American received a full heart transplant … but not until he had survived more than a year without a human heart inside his body.
Instead, Stan Larkin carried an “artificial heart” in a backpack 24/7 for 555 days, which pumped blood around his body and kept him alive. The success of the procedure suggests that the device could be used to support other patients with total heart failure while they wait for a donor.
Larkin’s real heart was removed from his body in November 2014.
“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,” Larkin said. “I’m going home so fast after the transplant because it helped me stay healthy before the transplant.”