Playing Basketball Without A Heart
Do you think that it’s possible to live without a heart? And if you do, how long do you think it’s possible? Well, Stan Larking can an...
Do you think that it’s possible to live without a heart? And if you do, how long do you think it’s possible? Well, Stan Larking can answer that question from experience. He lived his life without a heart for 17 months. And no, he wasn’t staying in bed – in fact, he wasn’t even taking it easy. He was playing basketball and other intense activities even after his heart was removed from his body.
Stan had lived all his life with a condition called familial cardiomyopathy, a disease that gradually cases heart failure over time. It was slowly wearing his heart down and the only hope for him was a heart donor. But there was no heart donor available at the time when his heart was starting to fail and he needed time. He needed a technology that would give him just a little more time until a donor would be found.
Amazingly enough, we live in a time when a heart replacement device is no longer science fiction. It turns out that medical engineers have developed a body augmentation technology that can completely replace a human heart called the SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver. And that’s exactly what Stan needed! After undergoing a very difficult and complex surgery to remove his heart and replace it with the 13.5 pound SynCardia machine, Stan became the first human to live without a heart.
With the SynCardia device, Stan not only survived 17 months without a heart but he was able to lead a somewhat active lifestyle. He could play basketball and engage in other intense physical activities. Since then Stan found a donor, received a heart and I’m happy to say that two weeks after his surgery he’s feeling great. Stan’s incredible story and breath-taking heroism is a real breakthrough in medical engineering. What an amazing privilege it is to be alive today.
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