Pig Heart Transplant Dies
Pig Heart Transplant Dies, Six weeks after receiving a genetically modified pig heart in a groundbreaking transplant, Lawrence Faucette, the second person to undergo this procedure, has passed away. The University of Maryland Medical Center, where the pioneering surgery took place, reported recent signs of rejection.
Pig Heart Transplant Dies: Dr. Bartley Griffith, who serves as the clinical director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and led the surgical team, expressed Mr. Faucette’s final wish was for us to gather as much knowledge as possible from this experience, ensuring others have a chance at a new heart when a human organ is unavailable. He expressed his love for the team of medical professionals gathered around him. We will deeply miss him.”
Faucette, aged 58, was admitted to UMMC on September 14 due to symptoms of heart failure and received the experimental transplant six days later. His pre-existing conditions and heart disease made him ineligible for a conventional human heart transplant. In an internal interview with the hospital a few days prior to the surgery, Faucette had expressed, “My only remaining hope is to go with the pig heart, the xenotransplant. “During that time, his wife, Ann Faucette, had said, “Our sole hope is for more time together, whether it’s as simple as sitting on the front porch and having coffee.”
Pig Heart Transplant Dies: In the initial period following the transplant, his doctors noted significant progress, including participation in physical therapy and quality time spent with his family. One month post-surgery, they expressed confidence in the excellent function of his new heart and discontinued support drugs. Dr. Griffith noted, “We’ve observed no signs of infections or rejection thus far.”
To further suppress the immune system and prevent rejection, Faucette received an experimental antibody treatment. However, UMMC emphasized that organ rejection poses a significant challenge in both xenotransplants and traditional human organ transplants.
In a statement following her husband’s passing, Ann expressed gratitude to the UMMC team for their care. She commented, “Larry began this journey with trust in Dr. Griffith and his staff. He knew his time with us was limited, and this was his final opportunity to make a difference for others.”
Currently, over 113,000 individuals are on the organ transplant waiting list, with more than 3,300 in need of a heart, according to the federal government. Donate Life America reports that 17 people lose their lives daily while awaiting a donor organ.
In January 2022, the University of Maryland also conducted the first such experimental surgery on 57-year-old David Bennett, who passed away two months later. Although no signs of rejection were initially observed, an autopsy attributed Bennett’s passing to heart failure stemming from various factors, including his pre-existing condition. A Lancet case study also noted the presence of a previously unidentified pig virus.”
Pig Heart Transplant Dies: Mr. Bennett underwent the surgery on January 7th. In the following weeks, he cherished moments with his family, enjoyed the Super Bowl, and expressed his longing to reunite with his beloved dog, Lucky. However, his health took a turn for the worse, leaving the medical team deeply saddened. Surgeon Bartley Griffith, who conducted the transplant, praised Mr. Bennett as a courageous and dignified patient who battled until the very end. In a statement from the hospital, he shared these sentiments. David Jr., Mr. Bennett’s son, expressed his wish that his father’s transplant would mark the start of hope, not the conclusion, as reported by the news agency AP.