Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves but this guy instead chooses to carry his heart around in a backpack of sorts. Of course it’s not a regular biological heart but rather an artificial heart that is comprised of a series of pumps and tubes. When he left the hospital with this device – which weighs around 13-pounds – he was the first man ever to walk check-out without a working heart in his chest.
These tubes snake out from recipient’s body where they connect to the compressor. This compressor delivers a reassuring rhythmic pulsating sound which Stan describes as a ‘soundtrack’ to his life. The sound is created as it forces compressed oxygen to operate its pneumatic workings.
Larkin was only 16 when he suffered a blackout and was diagnosed with arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) causing an irregular heartbeat. He had an implanted defibrillator to keep his heart going for many years and on one day it went off 26 times. Eventually he received a larger version of the solution he’s sporting today, the compressor known as ‘Big Blue’ which weighed 418 pounds and was roughly the size of a dressing table.
Today though, technology has advanced and the technology behind Big Blue can be fitted into much less space. Hence he has been able to receive his portable machine which should tide him over until he’s able to get himself a transplant.
While this is far from an ideal solution for Larkin, he notes that it gets him a lot of positive attention and that he enjoys explaining to passersby what his noisy contraption is. It’s also just an incredible demonstration of just how far medical science has come in recent years – and of how far it still has to go.
Source – The Chive