Doctors in Maryland successfully transplanted a pig’s heart into a dying man, making him the second patient to undergo the experimental surgery.
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The Doctors Remain Cautiously Hopeful: “We Don’t Want To Predict Anything”
According to AP News, the procedure went down at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Lawrence Faucett, 58, has responded well.
In fact, he’s reported as sitting up and laughing just a couple of days after the surgery, which saved him from heart failure.
Following Faucette’s surgery, xenotransplantation expert Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin remarked, “It’s just an amazing feeling to see this pig heart work in a human.”
Nonetheless, he said the next few weeks are crucial and acknowledged, “We don’t want to predict anything. We will take every day as a victory and move forward.”
As for surgeon Dr. Bartley Griffith, he marveled at the feat while calling the successful procedure a “great privilege” that yields “a lot of pressure.”
“You know, I just keep shaking my head — how am I talking to someone who has a pig heart?”
We should add that the pig heart has reportedly undergone ten different genetic modifications to make it better suited for the human immune system.
David Bennett Sr. Previously Underwent The Transplant & Survived For 2 Months
This development follows David Bennett Sr., 57, undergoing the same procedure in Jan. 2022.
According to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, doctors noted that Bennett “experienced strong cardiac function with no obvious signs of acute rejection for nearly seven weeks after the surgery.” He passed away nearly two months after the transplant, though.
AP News reports that surgeons later learned that the swine heart Bennett received showed signs of containing a pig virus called porcine cytomegalovirus.
On top of improved testing to seek out similar viruses, the outlet also notes that David Bennett was much closer to death than Lawrence Faucette.
In a statement recorded before the procedure, Faucette acknowledged the uncertain outcome — though he said he at least has a “chance” with the experimental transplant.
“Nobody knows from this point forward. At least now I have hope and I have a chance.”
His wife, Ann Faucette, reportedly said the family is only “hoping for more time together.”
“We have no expectations other than hoping for more time together. That could be as simple as sitting on the front porch and having coffee together.”
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