WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) – The second person to ever receive a transplanted pig heart has died.
Lawrence Faucette, 58, got the transplant just six weeks earlier at the University of Maryland Medical Center in an experimental procedure. Unfortunately, the heart had been showing signs of rejection in the days before his death, CNN reported.
Bartley Griffith, M.D., clinical director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, performed the transplant.
"Mr. Faucette's last wish was for us to make the most of what we have learned from our experience, so others may be guaranteed a chance for a new heart when a human organ is unavailable. He then told the team of doctors and nurses who gathered around him that he loved us. We will miss him tremendously," Griffith told CNN.
Faucette received the transplant on Sept. 20, six days after having symptoms of heart failure. He had been ineligible for a human heart because of his heart disease and preexisting conditions. Faucette had been making significant progress after the transplant. Doctors said a month after his surgery that Faucette's heart function was excellent, CNN reported. Faucette had also received an experimental antibody treatment to help prevent rejection of the heart.
The University of Maryland team also performed the first experimental pig heart transplant, that time on David Bennett, 57, in January 2022. Bennett died two months later from "a complex array of factors," including his condition prior to surgery.