A 57-year-old man from the United States has become the first successful recipient of a genetically-modified pig heart, which offers hope to many others in need of organs.
David Bennett, who had a life-threatening condition, underwent an operation at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, and is reportedly doing well three days after the procedure.
This organ transplant demonstrated for the first time that a genetically-modified animal heart can function like a human heart without immediate rejection by the body, the University reports.
The transplant was said to be the last hope of saving the patient’s life after Bennett was deemed ineligible for a traditional heart transplant.
“This is truly a historic, monumental step forward. While we have long been at the forefront of research driving progress toward the promise of xenotransplantation as a viable solution to the organ crisis, many believed this breakthrough would be well into the future,” said Bert W. O’Malley, MD, President and CEO, University of Maryland Medical Center.
Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO, University of Maryland Medical System, added: “We appreciate the tremendous courage of this live recipient, who has made an extraordinary decision to participate in this groundbreaking procedure to not only potentially extend his own life, but also for the future benefit of others.”
Picture: Twitter / @UMMG