The second person to have a heart attack transplant from genetically modified pigdied six weeks after the experimental procedure.
The Medical Center of the University of Maryland (UMMC) on USAwhere the experimental procedure had been performed, reported that Lawrence Fawcett’s heart had begun to show signs of rejection in recent days.
“Mr Fawcett’s last wish was that we make the most of what we have learned from our experience to ensure others have the opportunity for a new heart when a human organ is not available. He then told the team of doctors and nurses gathered around him that he loved us. We will miss him terribly,” said Dr. Bartley Griffiths, clinical director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
In accordance with CNNi, Fawcett, 58, was first admitted to UMMC on Sept. 14 after experiencing symptoms of heart failure and underwent the experimental transplant six days later. His heart disease and pre-existing medical conditions made him unfit to be a human heart recipient.
“The only real hope I have left is to opt for the pig heart, the xenotransplant,” Fawcett had said at the hospital in an internal interview several days before the operation. “We have no expectations other than to hope for more time together,” his wife Ann said at the time. “It could be as simple as sitting on the porch and drinking coffee together.”
In the weeks immediately following the transplant, his doctors said they believed his heart function was excellent and had withdrawn all medications to support it. “We have no evidence of infection and no evidence of rejection at this time,” Griffith said at the time.
It is recalled that in January 2022, the University of Maryland also performed the first such experimental surgery on the 57-year-old David Bennett, who died two months after the operation. While there was no evidence of rejection in the first weeks after the transplant, an autopsy concluded that Bennett ultimately died of heart failure from “a complex series of factors,” including his condition before the operation.