Heart transplant

First pig heart transplant recipient dies two months after surgery

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The man who received the first pig heart transplant died two months after the procedure, according to the Maryland hospital that performed the surgery.

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David Bennett, 57, died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center, but the exact cause of death was not given, ABC News reports.

Doctors only said Bennett’s condition had deteriorated.

“We are grateful for every innovative moment, every wild dream, every sleepless night that has contributed to this historic effort,” David Bennett Jr. said in a statement.

“We hope this story can be the beginning of hope and not the end.”

For decades, doctors have sought to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

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Bennett, a handyman from Hagerstown, Maryland, was ineligible for a human heart transplant and had no other options.

After the Jan. 7 surgery, Bennett Jr. said his father knew the procedure might not work.

  1. Son calls dad’s pig heart transplant a miracle of science

  2. David Bennett, a 57-year-old patient with end-stage heart disease, poses with surgeon Bartley P. Griffith, MD before receiving a successful transplant of a genetically modified pig heart at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., in an undated photograph.

    American recovering from ‘breakthrough’ pig heart transplant

Other attempts to transplant an animal organ into a human have failed because the patient’s body rejected the organ.

“We are devastated by the loss of Mr. Bennett. He turned out to be a brave and noble patient who fought until the end,” Dr. Bartley Griffith, who performed the surgery at Baltimore Hospital, said in a statement.