Man Who Received First Modified Pig Heart Transplant Dies

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March 9, 2022 — David Bennett Sr., the 57-year-old affected person with terminal coronary heart illness who turned the primary particular person to obtain a genetically modified pig coronary heart, has died.

Bennett handed away Tuesday, in accordance with a statement from the College of Maryland Medical Middle in Baltimore, the place the transplant was carried out.

Bennett received the transplant on Jan. 7 and lived for two months after it.

Though not giving the precise explanation for his loss of life, the medical middle mentioned Bennett’s situation started getting worse a number of days earlier than his loss of life.

When it turned clear that he wouldn’t get better, he was given compassionate palliative care and was capable of talk along with his household throughout his last hours.

“We’re devastated by the lack of Mr. Bennett. He proved to be a courageous and noble affected person who fought all the best way to the tip. We lengthen our sincerest condolences to his household,” Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who carried out the transplant, mentioned within the assertion.

“We’re grateful to Mr. Bennett for his distinctive and historic position in serving to to contribute to an enormous array of information to the sphere of xenotransplantation,” which is the method of transplanting organs between completely different species, mentioned Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, MD, director of the cardiac xenotransplantation program at College of Maryland College of Drugs.

Earlier than receiving the genetically modified pig coronary heart, Bennett wanted mechanical help to remain alive however was rejected for the standard coronary heart transplant on the College of Maryland Medical Middle and different facilities.

After the surgical procedure, the transplanted pig coronary heart carried out nicely for a number of weeks with none indicators of rejection. Bennett was capable of spend time along with his household and do physical therapy to assist regain power.

“This organ transplant demonstrated for the primary time {that a} genetically modified animal coronary heart can operate like a human coronary heart with out rapid rejection by the physique,” the medical middle mentioned in a press release 3 days after the surgical procedure.

Because of Bennett, “we have now gained invaluable insights studying that the genetically modified pig coronary heart can operate nicely throughout the human physique whereas the immune system is sufficiently suppressed,” mentioned Mohiuddin.

“We stay optimistic and plan on persevering with our work in future clinical trials,” he mentioned.

Bennett’s son, David Bennett Jr, mentioned the household is “profoundly grateful for the life-extending alternative” given to his father by the “stellar crew” on the College of Maryland College of Drugs and the College of Maryland Medical Middle.

“We have been capable of spend some treasured weeks collectively whereas he recovered from the transplant surgical procedure, weeks we might not have had with out this miraculous effort,” Bennett Jr. mentioned.

“We additionally hope that what was realized from his surgical procedure will profit future sufferers and hopefully someday, finish the organ scarcity that prices so many lives every year,” he mentioned.

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