News 9 March 2022

Patient With World’s First Pig Heart Transplant Dies Two Months After Surgery

9 March 2022

The first patient to be receive a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig has died two months after the ground-breaking surgery.

57-year-old David Bennett, who had terminal heart disease, underwent surgery on January 7 and spent the following weeks spending time with his family and watching the Super Bowl.

However, his condition began to deteriorate several days ago and he sadly died yesterday (March 8).

Surgeon Bartley Griffith who performed the transplant said Bennett had “proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end.”

David Bennett’s transplant was a significant case because previous attempts at transplants using animal parts have failed due to patients’ bodies rejecting the organs.

For Bennett’s surgery, scientists had modified the pig to remove the genes which trigger such rejecting, and adding human genes to assist the body in accepting the organ.

Bennett’s son, who previously told the Associated Press his father knew the experimental surgery was no guarantee, has praised the hospital for their treatment of his father.

“We are grateful for every innovative moment, every crazy dream, every sleepless night that went into this historic effort,’ David Bennett Jr said in a statement. “‘We hope this story can be beginning of hope and not the end.’”

[Image: Dmitriy Kandinskiy via Shutterstock]