First Person to Receive Genetically Altered Pig Heart Dies Months After Historic Surgery

First Person to Receive Genetically Altered Pig Heart Dies Months After Historic Surgery

In January, US surgeons, in a pioneering procedure, successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig’s heart into a patient dying from cardiac disease.

David Bennett Sr, a 57-year-old patient with terminal heart disease who was the first person to receive the transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart, died on Tuesday, only two months after the ground-breaking surgery.

The exact cause of his death is not yet known but doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center where Bennett died, say that his condition had started to deteriorate several days ago.

“We are devastated by the loss of Mr Bennett. He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end,” Dr Bartley Griffith, the lead surgeon on Bennett’s transplant, said in a statement.

The historic surgery was conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) on 7 January.

“We are grateful for every innovative moment, every crazy dream, every sleepless night that went into this historic effort,” David Bennett Jr said in a statement released by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“We hope this story can be the beginning of hope and not the end.”

After the first-of-its-kind transplantation, Bennett – who had been deemed ineligible for a conventional heart transplant at UMMC as well as at several other leading transplant centers that reviewed his medical records – was carefully monitored by medics after the surgery.


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