The first patient to receive a pig heart transplant has died two months after that surgery, the University of Maryland School of Medicine Medical Center, in charge of that historic operation, reported Wednesday.
David Bennett, 57, with terminal heart disease, underwent surgery on January 7 at the aforementioned medical center and became the first person to receive a genetically modified pig heart.
As reported by the hospital today, Bennett died on Tuesday after his condition deteriorated several days ago.
After doctors confirmed that he was not going to survive, he was placed on hospice care, according to the statement from the Maryland College of Medicine.
The death occurred two months after a historic operation that was carried out successfully and that, as he explained in January, the same institution was “the only option available to the patient”, since several hospitals had ruled out the possibility of performing a conventional transplant.
“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 option,” Bennett said then.
Members of the medical team said they were “devastated” by the loss of the patient, as the author of the transplant, Dr. Bartley P. Griffith, noted in the statement, who highlighted Bennet’s courage and desire to live.
Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, director of the cardiothoracic program at this center, for his part underlined his gratitude to the patient for his “historic role” in the advances in gene transplantation.