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Man dies two months after receiving first pig heart transplant

Man dies two months after receiving first pig heart transplant
Pig Heart Transplant
Posted at 10:14 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 15:10:10-05

BALTIMORE — A man who received the first pig heart transplant has died, according to reports.

Back in January, the University of Maryland School of Medicine performed the experimental surgery on 57-year-old David Bennett Sr., in hopes of treating his terminal heart disease.

According to doctors, it was his only viable option.

“We are devastated by the loss of Mr. Bennett. He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family,” said Doctor Bartley P. Griffith, who performed the surgery.

Bennett's condition reportedly began to deteriorate several days before his death. After it became clear that he would not recover, Bennett was given compassionate palliative care, and was able to communicate with family during his final hours.

RELATED: University of Maryland School of Medicine perform successful transplant of pig heart into patient with end-stage heart disease

The procedure was the first of its kind to demonstrate how a genetically-modified animal heart could function like a human heart without the body immediately rejecting it.

“As with any first-in-the-world transplant surgery, this one led to valuable insights that will hopefully inform transplant surgeons to improve outcomes and potentially provide lifesaving benefits to future patients,” said Dr. Griffith.

Prior to the surgery, Bennett's condition left him bedridden for two months.

“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” Bennett was quoted the day before he underwent surgery.

He had begun therapy sessions on January 21.