Man Who Obtained 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 particular person to obtain a genetically modified pig coronary heart, has died.

Bennett handed away Tuesday, in line with an announcement 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.

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

When it grew to become clear that he wouldn’t get better, he was given compassionate palliative care and was capable of talk along with his household throughout his remaining 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, mentioned within the assertion.

“We’re grateful to Mr. Bennett for his distinctive and historic position in serving to to contribute to an unlimited array of information to the sector of xenotransplantation,” which is the method of transplanting organs between totally different species, mentioned 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 nicely for a number of weeks with none indicators of rejection. Bennett was capable of spend time along 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 quick rejection by the physique,” the medical heart mentioned in an announcement 3 days after the surgical procedure.

Due to Bennett, “we now have gained invaluable insights studying that the genetically modified pig coronary heart can perform 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 medical 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 Faculty of Drugs and the College of Maryland Medical Heart.

“We have been capable of spend some valuable weeks collectively whereas he recovered from the transplant surgical procedure, weeks we’d 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 in the future, finish the organ scarcity that prices so many lives annually,” he mentioned.

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