This Monday, the University of Maryland School of Medicine reported that managed to transplant a genetically modified pig heart into a 57-year-old man in a surgery that he described as “historic”.
“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last option.”
“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 institution detailed in a statement.
The patient, David Bennet, 57, of Maryland, underwent surgery three days ago at the University Medical Center after suffering an arrhythmia and He is under medical surveillance in good health.
According to the institution, the transplantation of a pig heart “it was the only option available to the patient”, since several hospitals had ruled out the possibility of a conventional transplant.
“It was to die or to do this transplant. I want to live. I know it is a shot in the dark, but it is my last option,” said the patient, according to the statement from the University of Maryland.
“It has been a revolutionary surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis”
The United States Food and Drug Administration authorized the operation of Bennet on New Year’s Eve, who he was bedridden for months and that was informed of the risks of the operation as it is still an experimental technique.
“It has been a revolutionary surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the crisis of organ shortage. There are not enough human donor hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients,” said Bartley Griffith, doctor in charge of this surgical intervention.
About 110,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and more than six thousand patients die each year before receiving one, according to official data cited by the university.