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This 25-year-old man lived for 555 days without a heart

HEARTLESS: Stan Larkin survived 555 days without a heart in his body [Photo credit: University of Michigan Health System]

AN INCREDIBLE 25-year-old man has proved that it's possible to live more than a year while literally heartless.

Stan Larkin went a massive 555 days wearing an "artificial heart" backpack, which filled in after his own heart was removed while he awaited a transplant donor.

Both he and his brother Dominique were diagnosed with familial cardiomyopathy as teenagers – a terrible condition where your heart can fail without warning, the Daily Mirror reported.

Both siblings were on the transplant list for several years, and eventually had their hearts removed to make way for healthy donor ones.

For the duration of the wait, both brothers were fitted with a 13.5 pound backpack that connects directly to the cardiovascular system and takes over where the heart leaves off.

While implantable defibrillators and similar technology can assist with partial heart failure, this device – known as Syncardia – is designed to be used when both sides of the heart fail.

While Dominique only needed the device for a couple of weeks, he brother was plugged into his 24 hours per day for 555 days, finally receiving a full transplant on 9 May 2016.

Despite what Stan describes as an “emotional rollercoaster”, he is now back to full health.

“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,” he said .

Larkin stunned doctors by being able to continue playing basketball, despite having a backpack the weight of nearly four Macbook Pros strapped to his back 24 hours a day.

"He really thrived on the device," said Jonathan Haft, associate professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan, who carried out his surgery.

"This wasn't made for pick-up basketball. Stan pushed the envelope with this technology.

"The [brothers] were both very, very ill when we first met them in our intensive care units. We wanted to get them heart transplants, but we didn't think we had enough time.

"There's just something about their unique anatomic situation where other technology wasn't going to work."

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