Living without a heart for one year

Stan Larkin was diagnosed with familial cardiomyopathy when he was just 16 years old. This disease causes serious irregular heartbeats and inhibits proper blood flow.

Stan was immediately placed on the heart transplant list, but would have to wait a long time for a matching donor. In the meantime, doctors installed an internal defibrillator to help his heart beat whenever it would have problems.

Unfortunately, Stan’s heart continued to deteriorate. Near his 24th birthday, doctors knew they needed to do something drastic. They installed a SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.

Stan’s heart was literally on his sleeve. He would carry with him a 13.5 pound artificial heart that allowed him to maintain a normal lifestyle and continue being a father to his three children while he waited for an organ transplant.

“I just want to put the heart to use.” – Stan Larkin

The device performed all the functions of a healthy heart and kept Stan alive for an incredible (and record-setting) 555 days. He finally received his new “real” heart in May of 2016 and is making a swift recovery. He looks forward to putting his new heart to use on the basketball court.

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