Man Who Obtained First Modified Pig Coronary heart Transplant Dies

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, in response to a statement 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 explanation for his loss of life, the medical heart mentioned Bennett’s situation started getting worse a number of days earlier than his loss of life.

When it grew to become clear that he wouldn’t get well, he was given compassionate palliative care and was in a position to talk together 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 top. We prolong our sincerest condolences to his household,” Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who carried out the transplant, mentioned within the assertion.

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“We’re grateful to Mr. Bennett for his distinctive and historic position in serving to to contribute to an unlimited array of data to the sphere 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 College of Medication.

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 effectively for a number of weeks with none indicators of rejection. Bennett was in a position to spend time together with his household and do bodily remedy 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 instant rejection by the physique,” the medical heart mentioned in an announcement 3 days after the surgical procedure.

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Due to Bennett, “we now have gained invaluable insights studying that the genetically modified pig coronary heart can operate effectively 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 group” on the College of Maryland College of Medication and the College of Maryland Medical Heart.

“We have been in a position to spend some treasured 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 discovered from his surgical procedure will profit future sufferers and hopefully sooner or later, finish the organ scarcity that prices so many lives every year,” he mentioned.

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