Man Who Received Pig Heart Transplant Dies 2 Months Later

Recall that 2 months ago, a Maryland man Received Genetically Modified Pig Heart

This surgical feat, known as xenotransplantation, opened the door to the possibility that more patients in dire need of heart transplants could get them.

The 57 year old David Bennett, was apparently doing well several days after the procedure was performed and remained under close monitoring for several weeks to see if the transplant provides lifesaving benefits

Sadly, Maryland hospital has announced the death of the 57 year old man on Wednesday.

Bennett died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors didn’t give an exact cause of death, saying only that his condition had begun deteriorating some  days ago.

His son has praised the hospital and team of doctors for their last minute efforts towards finding a possible solution to heart problems requiring organ replacement.

“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.”

Initially, the pig heart was functioning properly, and the Maryland hospital closely monitored the progress and periodically reported Bennett’s recovery success.

The success of his procedure was largely due to the fact that the genes in the pig’s heart that triggered hyper-fast rejection reactions were removed while other human genes were added before being transplanted.

Previous attempts  at such transplants — or xenotransplantation — failed because the patients’ bodies rapidly rejected the animal organs.

Bennett survived significantly longer with the gene-edited pig heart than one of the last milestones in xenotransplantation  –  when Fae, a dying California infant, lived 21 days with a baboon’s heart in 1984.

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