The man who performed the first heart transplant on a pig has died

Two months ago, David Bennett became the first man to perform heart transplant surgery on a genetically modified pig. American He passed away this Tuesday at the age of 57.

According to The New York Times, it is not yet clear whether the body rejected the transplanted organ. “No apparent cause was found at the time of his death.”A spokesman for the Maryland Medical Center in the United States where the surgery was performed said.

The medical condition of the heart patient, after responding well to transplant surgery in the first few weeks, deteriorated for several days.

“We hope this story is the beginning of hope, not the end.”The son of David Bennett said in a statement. “We hope that what I learned from my father’s surgery will benefit future patients, and that we will one day find an end to the organ loss that has claimed so many lives each year.”Praised.

The surgeon who performed the transplant admitted that with Bennett’s death, the entire team that followed the procedure was “devastated”. “He proved to be a brave and classic patient. He fought to the end.”Bartley Griffith said.

A thorough examination to determine the cause of death has not yet been carried out, but the medical team wants to review all the results and publish them in a scientific journal.

Because the pig’s heart was not immediately discarded and there were no problems for more than a month, the transplant surgery was initially considered successful, exceeding an important milestone for transplant patients.

David Bennett was the first person to live with the heart of a genetically modified pig in his chest. This animal, which is one year old and weighs about 108 kilograms, was specially bred for this purpose.

The pig had 10 genetic mutations. Four genes were removed from the animal or inactivated, while six human genes were inserted into the pig gene to make the pig’s organs more tolerant of the recipient’s immune system.

The transplanted heart has good initial performance. “It works and everything seems normal. We’m excited, but do not know what’s coming tomorrow. It has never been done before,” said surgeon Bartley Griffith, who described the procedure as “a kind of miracle”.

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