Maryland man receives historic genetically modified pig heart transplant to save his life

A Maryland man with terminal heart disease made history by receiving the first transplant of a genetically modified pig heart, defined by the University of Maryland Medicine in a statement as a one-of-a-kind surgery.

According to the statement from the university body, the only option available for David Bennett to live was through the pig’s heart, as he was not eligible for a conventional heart transplant or an artificial heart pump after a review of his medical records, CNN reported.

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 optionBennett stated before surgery.

The endorsement so that the operation could be carried out was given through the US Food and Drug Administration, which granted him the emergency authorization for the surgery that was carried out on December 31.

To avoid inconvenience during surgery, three genes that are responsible for the rejection of pig organs by the human immune system were extracted, as well as a gene to prevent excessive growth of the pig’s heart tissue and six human genes responsible for immunological acceptance were inserted.

Although the operation was successful, doctors will need to closely monitor Bennett’s progress, possibly for weeks to prevent him from developing immune system problems or any other complications. Experts hope that it works that it could be an alternative to save more lives.

“There are simply not enough human donor hearts available to fulfill the long list of potential recipients,” explained surgeon Dr. Bartley P. Griffith in a statement.

“We are proceeding with caution, but we are also optimistic that this world’s first surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future.Griffith added.

The company that provided the heart is called Revivicor, which is a regenerative medicine company based in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Despite the complicated operation, Bennett is hopeful that the pig transplant will help him stay alive, as before the surgery, he was bedridden for nearly six weeks on a machine that kept him alive, BBC News noted.

It was known this Monday that Bennett breathes on his own and they continue to monitor him; Nevertheless, it is not clear what will happen to the patient in the next few days.

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