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

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 12:55:19-05

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 57-year-old David Bennett.

It demonstrated for the first time that a genetically-modified animal heart can function like a human heart without immediate rejection by the body.

Bennett was bedridden for two months leading to the surgery.

“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 said the day before surgery. “I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover.”

He started that process on January 21, with his first physical therapy session post surgery.