Historic pig heart transplant patient dies

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The man who made history by being the first to receive a genetically modified pig heart has died.According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, David Bennett, 57, who was suffering from terminal heart disease, died on March 8. He received the historic transplant on Jan. 7, and lived two months following the surgery.Watch the original report from when Bennett received the genetically modified pig heart in the video above.As his condition began deteriorating several days ago, it became clear that he would not recover. Bennett was able to communicate with his family during his final hours. “We are devastated by the loss of Mr. Bennett. He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family,” said Dr. Bartley P. Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart into the patient. “Mr. Bennett became known by millions of people around the world for his courage and steadfast will to live.”Bennett first came to UMMC as a patient in October 2021. He was bedridden and placed on a heart-lung bypass machine to remain alive. He was deemed ineligible for a conventional heart transplant. He was fully informed of the procedure’s risks, and that it was experimental with unknown risks and benefits. Following surgery, the transplanted heart performed very well for several weeks without any signs of rejection. Bennett was able to spend time with his family and participate in physical therapy to help regain strength. “We have gained invaluable insights learning that the genetically modified pig heart can function well within the human body while the immune system is adequately suppressed,” said Dr. Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, Professor of Surgery and Scientific Director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at UMSOM, said. “We remain optimistic and plan on continuing our work in future clinical trials.”

The man who made history by being the first to receive a genetically modified pig heart has died.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, David Bennett, 57, who was suffering from terminal heart disease, died on March 8. He received the historic transplant on Jan. 7, and lived two months following the surgery.

Watch the original report from when Bennett received the genetically modified pig heart in the video above.

As his condition began deteriorating several days ago, it became clear that he would not recover. Bennett was able to communicate with his family during his final hours.

“We are devastated by the loss of Mr. Bennett. He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family,” said Dr. Bartley P. Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart into the patient. “Mr. Bennett became known by millions of people around the world for his courage and steadfast will to live.”

Bennett first came to UMMC as a patient in October 2021. He was bedridden and placed on a heart-lung bypass machine to remain alive. He was deemed ineligible for a conventional heart transplant. He was fully informed of the procedure’s risks, and that it was experimental with unknown risks and benefits.

Following surgery, the transplanted heart performed very well for several weeks without any signs of rejection. Bennett was able to spend time with his family and participate in physical therapy to help regain strength.

“We have gained invaluable insights learning that the genetically modified pig heart can function well within the human body while the immune system is adequately suppressed,” said Dr. Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, Professor of Surgery and Scientific Director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at UMSOM, said. “We remain optimistic and plan on continuing our work in future clinical trials.”



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