A 25-year-old man has survived for 555 days with an artificial heart in a rucksack.
Stan Larkin, from Michigan, is the first person ever to leave hospital with only a synthetic heart to keep him alive.
The father-of-three was first diagnosed with the genetic condition Familial Cardiomyopathy, which causes sudden undetected heart failure, in 2007 along with his brother Dominique.
Whilst Dominique was able to undergo a transplant almost immediately, Stan was left on the waiting list for over a year and wanted to be discharged from hospital.
Stan was first given the SynCardia in 2014, a device that is used when both sides of the heart fails.
Weighing 6kg the SynCardia is portable, but not easily, and needs to be worn 24/7 every day of the year.
With only the device to pump blood around his body whilst waiting for a donor, the father-of-three has defied doctor’s expectations and pushed the technology to the limit.
Although Stan was not able to lift his daughters, he managed to continue playing basketball, telling Michigan News: “It was an emotional rollercoaster.”
Surgeon Jonathan Haft from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Centre said: “This wasn’t made for pick-up basketball. Stan pushed the envelope with this technology.”
Now having recovered from his life-changing surgery, Stan wrote a blog post for the University of Michigan Health System, saying: “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."
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