Sad News: Pig Heart Recipient Dies

There was no guarantee the procedure would work, but it’s the longest a xenotransplantation experiment has lasted.

Back in January, we reported on the first pig-to-human heart transplant, an experimental procedure with the potential to save a man’s life. According to a recent HUFFPOST article, the recipient, 57-year-old David Bennett of Maryland passed away on March 8th. Though doctors didn’t specify the exact cause of death, they did note that his condition had been declining for days.

Ineligible for a human heart transplant, Bennett was on life support and confined to a bed. The groundbreaking procedure to implant a modified pig heart in his body was a last-ditch experiment to save his life. He and his family were aware there was no guarantee it would work, but Bennett survived significantly longer than the last milestone xenotransplantation experiment – a California infant who survived 21 days with a baboon’s heart back in 1984. 

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