Man Who Acquired First Modified Pig Coronary 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 grew to become the primary individual to obtain a genetically modified pig coronary heart, has died.

Bennett handed away Tuesday, based on a press release from the College of Maryland Medical Heart in Baltimore, the place the transplant was carried out.

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

Though not giving the precise reason behind his dying, the medical middle stated Bennett’s situation started getting worse a number of days earlier than his dying.

When it grew to become clear that he wouldn’t get well, he was given compassionate palliative care and was capable of talk together with his household throughout his closing 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 prolong our sincerest condolences to his household,” Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who carried out the transplant, stated 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 data to the sector of xenotransplantation,” which is the method of transplanting organs between totally different species, stated Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, MD, director of the cardiac xenotransplantation program at College of Maryland Faculty 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 Heart and different facilities.

After the surgical procedure, the transplanted pig coronary heart carried out properly for a number of weeks with none indicators of rejection. Bennett was capable of spend time together with his household and do bodily remedy to assist regain energy.

“This organ transplant demonstrated for the primary time {that a} genetically modified animal coronary heart can perform like a human coronary heart with out rapid rejection by the physique,” the medical middle stated 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 perform properly inside the human physique whereas the immune system is satisfactorily suppressed,” stated Mohiuddin.

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

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

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

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

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