Second Chance: Dying Man Receives a Pig’s Heart in Historic Transplant

By: | September 29th, 2023

The shortage of human donor organs remains a pressing issue. It is estimated that over 110,000 Americans are currently on the waiting list for a new organ, and more than 6,000 people die each year before they receive a transplant.

Recent developments in the field of organ transplantation have sparked hope for millions of people grappling with end-stage organ disease.

Xenotransplantation: A Potential Solution to the Human Organ Shortage Crisis

Xenotransplantation involves transplanting living cells, tissues, or organs between different species. Recently, significant advancements have been made in the field of xenotransplantation.

US surgeons transplant Pig’s Heart to save dying a man

On September 20, surgeons at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) conducted a groundbreaking procedure by transplanting a genetically modified pig’s heart into a 58-year-old man with terminal heart disease, providing him with a last resort for treatment.

“At least now I have hope” – Words of the Second Recipient Before the Surgery

This marks the second successful pig heart xenotransplant, with the patient currently in recovery, experiencing normal heart function without external support.

The first such surgery occurred on January 7, 2022, but ended tragically when the recipient, 57-year-old David Bennett, passed away two months later due to a combination of factors, as identified in a UMSOM study, rather than organ rejection.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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