David Bennett Sr. was given a heart from a genetically modified pig. This procedure may offer hope to millions of Americans needing transplants. The first person to have his failing heart replaced with that of a genetically engineered pig in a pioneering operation died on Tuesday, two months after the transplant surgery. David Bennett, who lived in Maryland, was 57.
His heart disease was so severe that he was not accepted for the human hearts, and he had decided to receive the experimental pig heart, but after one day his condition worsened and he died.
It wasn’t clear if his body rejected the new organ. “There was no obvious cause identified at the time of his death,” a hospital spokeswoman said. I’ve asked the hospital officials whether or not the doctors have conducted a thorough examination. They won’t tell me. Their study will appear in a medical journal.
Surgeon Dr. Bartley Griffith said the hospital staff was devastated when their patient died on March 4th after a liver transplant. “He is a great doctor and has become a personal friend. I can’t thank him enough for all his years of help and kindness.
The transplants that the surgeon Griffith said Mr. Bennett became known by millions of people around the world for his courage and steadfast will to live were among a number of pioneering procedures in recent months in which organs from genetically modified pigs were used to replace organs in humans. Xenotransplantation is a process that allows us to transplant a living organ from a donor of a different species into the recipient.
The doctors were amazed at the success of the surgery. The pig’s heart was successfully transplanted into the patient and the patient began to recover. This is a significant step forward, since the pig’s heart was not immediately rejected and continued to function for well over a month.
More than 40,000 Americans received a kidney transplant last year. In all, more than half were kidneys. It’s really important to get transplanted organ, but there are people who die every single day waiting for their transplants.
More than 3,800 Americans have had heart transplants last year. The demand for hearts is strong, and they continue to increase in number.
Scientists are trying to make pigs whose organs don’t reject in the human body, a research project that has taken off since genetic engineering and cloning technologies have made it possible.
Surgeons in New York announced in October that they had successfully transplanted a pig’s kidney into a human patient, discovering that the organ survived for more than an entire day and was fully functional.
The transplant was the first of its kind in the United States. Doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham reported that the operation was successful for the first time. The transplant used genetically modified pigs, which are not eaten by humans.
His kidneys functioned and produced urine for three days. The U.A.B. said it hopes to launch a small clinical trial with live human patients by the end of the year.
Mr. Bennett was found guilty of third-degree assault by a Washington, D.C., court in 1973 for stabbing his girlfriend, Mary Lynn Saindon, who was seven months pregnant at the time, multiple times with a kitchen knife. The baby died. In 2014, Mr. Bennett underwent a heart operation and was released from prison.
It was a senseless murder. For two decades, Edward Shumaker suffered paralysis from the waist down and suffered multiple medical complications including a stroke that left him cognitively impaired. He died in 2007 at the age of 40.
David Bennett Jr. said that he doesn’t want to discuss his father’s past, and emphasized that his father was contributing to medical science by going through the experimental transplant, hoping to possibly save patient lives in the future.
Bennett came from genetically altered pigs created by a regenerative medicine company based in Blacksburg, Va.
The pig was carrying ten genetic modifications. Four of them were modified, knocking out four of the genes that encode molecules that cause an aggressive human rejection response. Another gene was also inactivated to prevent the pig’s heart from continuing to grow after it was implanted.
In addition, six human genes were inserted into the genome of the donor pig — modifications designed to make the pig’s organs more tolerable to the human immune system. On New Year’s Eve, the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency authorization for the experimental surgery, which was done a week later.
The transplanted heart is doing very well. There are no signs of rejection yet. Mr. Bennett spent time with his family, did physical therapy, and watched the Super Bowl. But he wasn’t discharged. Several days ago his condition started to get worse, and now he’s in the hospital.
His son issued a statement thanking the hospital and staff for their exhaustive efforts on behalf of his father. “We hope this story can be the beginning of hope and not the end,” Mr. Ronaldo wrote on Twitter.
Dr. Bennett said. “It was amazing and life changing for me. I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you all for all of your support and help.