The second patient in the world to have had a pig heart implant has also died
Steph Deschamps / November 4, 2023
A 58-year-old American who had a genetically modified pig heart implanted in September has died, six weeks after the operation, the University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, which performed the transplant, said on Wednesday.
Lawrence Facuette was the second patient to receive a pig heart, after David Bennett in January. Both were in their fifties and suffered from life-threatening heart disease. The first patient died two months after the transplant, the heart having been infected by a virus that affects swine. The second rejected the organ and therefore did not survive, according to The New York Times.
Due to their heart disease and various health factors, both men could not benefit from a conventional transplant.
Xenografts (organ transplants from animals to humans) are raising great hopes, as they could help overcome the shortage of donated organs. The pig heart is genetically modified to avoid immediate rejection.