User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


62° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Healthbeat

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Home Is Where His Heart Is

April 10, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Home Is Where His Heart Is
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Most hospital patients don't bring their dogs into their rooms, but Jan Larsen is trying to make it feel like a home-away-from-home. After all, the Sioux Falls man has been staying at Sanford since December 30.

"When they put me in and admitted me, they told me it could be anywhere from six months to a year," Larsen said.

Doctors diagnosed Larsen with congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy in 2009. Now at 51-years-old, his heart is shot. He's staying alive until he can get a heart transplant through a so-called mechanical heart. A left ventricular assist device or LVAD helps the heart pump blood throughout the body.

"They have it put in, and all of a sudden they can catch their breath again, and they just can do more stuff," Sanford Cardiologist Dr. Orvar Jonsson said.

Doctor Orvar Jonsson is able to read LVADs at Sanford. Just a little more than a year ago, patients had to travel to Minneapolis or Rochester every few months.

"We're basically the third program in the whole country that started doing this without being an implant center or transplant center," Jonsson said.

While Larsen is trying to make the most of the experience, he says he's anxious to get out of the hospital. Because of his experience, he encourages others to become donors.

"Then, to be sure and share that with their family and loved ones, so they know that's really what they want to do," Larsen said.

But as he waits for a heart, he's glad his wife can be by his side. She works on the same floor where Jan is a patient.

"I can have my dog who's my good buddy come visit me, and obviously, it's easier for my wife and daughter to come and visit me because they don't have to drive 3.5 hours to come see me," Larsen said.

And when they aren't by his side, Larsen has pictures of his children and grandchild up to remind him what he has to live for.

Doctor Jonsson says patients can live for years with a LVAD. Some patients are doing very well on them after more than ten years.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View healthbeat

You may also like

Meth Making A Comeback

10/21/2014 6:13 PM

South Dakota officers have already taken more meth off the streets this year compared to all of last year.  And last year the state saw a record ...

Full Story | Watch
Getting A Second Opinion Right Away

10/20/2014 6:10 PM

After getting an opinion from one doctor, Bonnie and her husband came to Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls to get a second opinion.

Full Story | Watch
Some New Yorkers Showing Fears Of Ebola

10/24/2014 11:03 AM

Officials in New York City are trying to tamp down fears of Ebola, after a doctor was diagnosed with the disease. But some New Yorkers aren't taki...

Full Story
A Second Opinion Clinic

10/20/2014 11:58 AM

When it comes to serious diseases, such as breast cancer, you definitely want to make sure you're getting the right advice. Avera has opened its B...

Full Story
Moving On After A Stillbirth

10/24/2014 1:35 PM

It's an expectant mother's worst nightmare. Jared and Amanda Nytroe were expecting their first baby.

Full Story


Events