BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty scientists and clinicians made history this week, performing a successful transplant of a pig heart into an adult patient with end-stage heart disease.
The transplant was the only currently available option for the 57-year-old patient.
It demonstrated for the first time that a genetically-modified animal heart can function like a human heart without immediate rejection by the body.
The patient, David Bennett is being carefully monitored over the next days and weeks to determine whether the transplant provides lifesaving benefits.
“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,” said Mr. Bennett, the patient, a day before the surgery was conducted. He had been hospitalized and bedridden for the past few months. “I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover.”