Brothers both have successful heart transplants

16th June 2016

Two brothers in their 20s have both successfully undergone a heart transplant after being kept alive with artificial hearts until donor hearts could be found.

Stan and Dominique Larkin were both affected by arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

Stan, now 25, was diagnosed in 2007 when he collapsed at a basketball game. Tests on his brother showed he also had the condition.  Despite treatment, they began to suffer from worsening heart failure and doctors said they needed a heart transplant.

Stan (pictured right) was given his temporary artificial heart in November 2014 but got his donor heart only a few weeks ago and 17 months later.

Twenty four-year-old Dominique (on the left) received his artificial heart a month after Stan, but waited only four days to get his donor heart.  He was discharged from hospital soon afterwards. Both were looked after by doctors at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Centre in America.

Artificial hearts, from SynCardia, are used to help people survive and regain their health and strength while they wait for a transplant. They come with a portable power system which enables patients to go home while they wait for a donor heart to become available.

The brothers’ shared battle against their heart disease has kept them close. “We keep in contact every day,” Dominique told his local newspaper. “If anybody knows my experience, he knows it closely.”

'It was an emotional rollercoaster,' Stan told a news conference

The heart makers say that since January 2010 more than 550 of their artificial hearts have been fitted to patients aged between nine and 80 years old.