A month ago, a groundbreaking medical procedure took place at the University of Maryland School of Medicine when Lawrence Faucette, who was ineligible for a traditional heart transplant due to heart failure, received a pig heart transplant. This experimental surgery was a life-saving option for Faucette.
The first recipient, David Bennett, survived for two months before the heart failed due to unclear reasons, though traces of a pig virus were later discovered in the organ. Lessons from this initial experiment were used to make improvements in the second attempt, including enhanced virus testing.
Faucette’s body has not shown any signs of rejecting the pig heart, and his new heart is performing well. He is now able to stand and is working with physical therapists to gain the strength required for walking.
This pioneering procedure offers hope for addressing the significant shortage of human organ donations, with over 100,000 individuals on the national transplant waiting list.