It was a risk for all involved, but an experimental procedure by surgeons at the University of Maryland to transplant the heart of a genetically modified pig into a person is so far a success.
David Bennett, a Maryland father and handyman, was diagnosed with severe heart disease that prevented him from being eligible for a transplant. When the medical team asked Bennett to be their patient, he accepted.
“This was his best hope of getting out of the hospital and having somewhat of a normal quality of life,” David’s son, David Bennett Jr., said.
Humans have had limited success with transplanting organs from animals into their bodies before. Doctors believe that gene editing was used to remove cells from the pig that could lead to rejection by the human body.
“This pig heart has performed so far very well,” surgeon Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin said. “Even beyond our expectations.”
This patient, regardless of what happens, is undoubtedly providing hope to others who will require organs in the near future.