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CNN

This Man Lived 555 Days Without A Real Heart Before Receiving A Transplant

The 25-year-old father of three suffered from a condition that causes irregular heartbeats and presents a high risk for cardiac arrest.

If we're being frank, this story sounds crazy. Some man was able to live for more than a year without a heart. However, 25-year-old Stan Larkin's story is a modern tale about the wonders of science and the determination of the human spirit.

When Larkin was 16 years old, he was playing basketball near his home in Ypsilanti, Mich., when he suddenly collapsed on the court. Doctors diagnosed Larkin with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) which causes irregular heartbeats and presents a risk of cardiac arrest. A defibrillator--a small device that issues electric charges to fix the abnormal heartbeats--was placed in his heart and would work fine as long as the patient doesn't engage in any strenuous activity like, pick up basketball, which Larkin enjoys.

The defibrillator worked for a while, but it became clear Larkin would need a heart transplant after his case of ARVD advanced. A defibrillator is effective when one side of the patient's heart is failing, unfortunately, both sides of Larkin's heart were weak. The news only got worse as Larkin would have to wait his turn in the long line of patients before him who also needed a heart.

A cardiac surgeon at the University of Michigan Hospital thought maybe Larkin, a father of three, could live without a human heart entirely until he received his transplant. The left-of-center idea proved valuable and on Nov. 7, 2014, Larkin was hooked up to "Big Blue" a 418 pound machine, which is meant as a gas station of sorts while the patient is waiting for a transplant. The machine works by pumping compressed air through two tubes that are attached to two cone like valves that replace both ventricles. The only problem, it's 418 pounds, which is basically a washing machine. Larkin was alive, yes, but was bound to "Big Blue."

Things eventually got better for Larkin.

In June of 2014, the FDA approved a smaller, more compact version of "Big Blue" called the Freedom Portable Driver. The device is 13.5 pounds and fits inside a backpack and performs the exact same function as "Big Blue." Larkin, who could now leave the hospital, was thankful for it, but still had to get used to the upgrade.

“It was kind of stressful at the beginning, because I had to get used to the noise. It was a lot of noise 24/7, the heartbeat," Larkin said. As I got used to the noise, I could finally go to sleep. After that, I had to get used to carrying three extra bags with me, everywhere I went. I had to have all this stuff every time I moved.”

The device can be plugged into a wall outlet or even a carjack, and comes with a display panel showing the patient's heartbeat per minute and cardiac output.

Yes, despite the backpack being a vast improvement from the 418 pound machine he was once tied to, this still wasn't a seamless transition. Larkin said he couldn't pick up his daughter and had to take very careful, and quick baths, due to the electric nature of the backpack. Yet, after 555 days after his ordeal began, Larkin finally received a real heart.

"I’ll probably run a few pickup games, but not right away,” he said. “I haven’t taken a shot yet without the backpack hooked up. I just want to put the heart to use.”

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Baltimore Sergeant To Plead Guilty For Planting Evidence

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According to The Baltimore Sun, Keith Gladstone was out to dinner with another officer when he received a frantic phone call from his mentee, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins who said he ran down a man with his car in Northeast Baltimore.

Gladstone allegedly got a BB gun from the trunk of his police car and drove it to the scene. When he arrived he “dropped the BB gun near a pickup truck” as the man named Demetric Simon laid on the ground injured. Per an indictment, Jenkins told another officer to move the BB gun closer to Simon.

During an interview with The Sun, Simon denies having any weapons on his person, especially a BB gun. “I never had no BB gun,” Simon last year. “I never aimed nothing at him. He ran me over because I was getting away.”

Gladstone and Jenkins often collaborated together before Jenkins went on to lead the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force Unit. He's now serving 25 years in federal prison.

New charges outline Jenkins wrote the false police statement against Simon and attributed it to another cop who was at the scene.

It appears Gladstone's unethical ways have caught up to him. He reportedly worked in high-ranking drug units despite misconduct accusations that included being reprimanded by a federal judge and also being found liable by a civil jury for assaulting a man in 2015 during an arrest.

Gladstone has been charged with conspiracy to deprive civil rights, conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and witness tampering. If convicted of all three, he could face 20 years in prison.

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Mark Wilson

Single Mom Lands NASA Internship, Neighbors Raise Money To Cover Costs

India Jackson landed a prestigious internship with NASA, however, the single mother was unsure how she would manage it, as NASA — which received a budget of $21.5 billion for 2019 fiscal year — requires all interns to pay for their own housing, travel, and other costs.

Jackson had her daughter Jewel when she was a junior at Georgia State University, yet went onto earn her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the same school. After her acceptance into the 10-week program in Houston, the 32-year-old wasn't sure how she was going to get it done.

Then her cousin launched a Go Fund Me page and within two days neighbors and some strangers helped raise $8,510.

"Some people gave $3, $1, $5 — whatever they could give," Jackson, of Atlanta, Georgia, said. "I was extremely overwhelmed with hope and promise and joy. I am forever grateful to everyone on that donor list and I sent personal thank you's. Some people I knew, most people I don't and it's amazing of what humanity can bring regardless of race, gender.'

Jackson says it wasn't easy being a full-time college student and mother.

"I definitely didn't imagine being in the place I am today," she said. "Money was always an issue, cars always break down. My daughter always comes first, so I had my final exams next week when she was taking her milestones test [at school], so when she was asleep I had to study."

Jackson will be researching solar energetic particles Johnson Space Center and said her desire to be a scientist isn't rooted in money.

"We don't become scientists to make money. We become scientists to make history," Jackson said. "There are no words, only emotion that I have. Who doesn't want to work for NASA? [I'm] ecstatic."

Congrats to India Jackson.

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NYPD

Justice For Junior: Testifying Witness Says Hit Has Been Placed On His Life

Kevin Alvarez, one of several Trinitarios gang members responsible for the barbarous June 2018 murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, was indicted on murder charges.

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“They go out and look for you in groups until they find you and kill you,” he said. Alvarez said for "doing something bad

In a packed courtroom, Monday (May 21) he nervously identified the five others responsible for the vicious stabbing death of the Bronx teen. Alvarez said he drove one of the four cars to chase Junior and revealed the 15-year-old tried to run into nearby St. Barnabas Hospital for help, but blocked him, which is why Junior then ran into a bodega.

Alvarez said he assumed Junior was in another gang and involved in a rival shooting.

He then explained that he was the one who pushed the bodega door open, helped to drag Junior out and repeatedly punched and kicked Junior in the head while he was down. Junior tried to tell him he wasn't the person they were looking for, but Alvarez and co. didn't listen.

Video of Junior’s murder played again in court in slow motion. Junior’s mom with their heads between her knees, cried quietly throughout. #JusticeForJunior pic.twitter.com/APqZ2k8Odh

— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 21, 2019

The prosecution then played the heartwrenching footage from the bodega. Reportedly, Junior's mother turned away and kept her head between her knees crying.

If all members of the Trinitarios gang are convicted, they face life in prison.

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