An otherwise healthy 47-year-old man presented to the emergency department in cardiogenic shock after suffering a massive myocardial infarction due to left main occlusion. He was initially supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and subsequently was converted to paracorporeal support with a Levitronix left ventricular assist device. He experienced multiple postoperative complications including renal failure, respiratory failure, retroperitoneal hematoma requiring suspension of anticoagulation, and fungal bloodstream infection precluding transition to an implantable device. He was reconditioned and successfully underwent orthotopic heart transplant 183 days after presentation. A discussion of the relevant issues is included. © 2012, the Authors. Artificial Organs © 2012, International Center for Artificial Organs and Transplantation and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.