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.


59° 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

Common Mistakes We Make Everyday

9/17/2014 6:24 PM

But many people offset those good intentions with making some mistakes that are actually bad for their health.

Full Story | Watch
Men In Midwifery

9/22/2014 11:35 AM

When you think of a midwife, you most likely think of a woman providing the medical care and education. However, a male certified nurse midwife i...

Full Story
Friends And Family Saddle Up To Fight Cancer

9/21/2014 5:25 PM

Friends and family of Elizabeth Christensen and Rebecca Hopf saddled up today in Madison for the 5th annual Barrels for Beth and Becky playdate.

Full Story
The Importance Of Wearing Sunglasses

9/18/2014 6:24 PM

You probably know the sun's UV rays can damage your skin, but it can also damage your eyes.

Full Story | Watch
Midwifing In A Female-Dominated Industry

9/22/2014 6:15 PM

But after hospital staff told her that Al Runzel had more than 30 years of experience as a midwife, the Normans thought Runzel just might be the best ...

Full Story | Watch


Events