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Man who lived with a transplanted pig’s heart for 40 days has tragically died
Featured Image Credit: University of Maryland Medical Center

Man who lived with a transplanted pig’s heart for 40 days has tragically died

Lawrence Faucette was the second person in the world to receive a genetically-modified pig heart transplant.

A man who was the second person in the world to receive a genetically-modified pig heart transplant has sadly died.

Lawrence Faucette underwent surgery back in September, where doctors managed to secure the heart of a pig into his chest.

The 58-year-old was at the University of Maryland Medical Center and was in end-stage heart failure.

The medical center says he wasn't eligible for a traditional heart transplant because of his 'advanced medical conditions', which included peripheral vascular disease.

The US FDA granted the hospital an emergency authorization to give Lawrence a genetically-modified pig heart in the hope that it would extend his life.

University of Maryland Medical Center

Medical staff were thrilled when the patient's body showed no signs of rejection after the transplant procedure was completed.

Lawrence did a followup a month later and his new heart was ticking along fantastically.

He was able to regain his ability to walk and was able to undergo physical therapy.

However, his body started to reject the foreign organ a few days later and his condition declined rapidly.

He tragically died on October 30, which was just shy of six weeks after the surgery.

Lawrence's wife, Ann, said in a statement: "Larry started this journey with an open mind and complete confidence in Dr. Griffith and his staff.

"He knew his time with us was short, and this was his last chance to do for others.

University of Maryland Medical Center

"He never imagined he would survive as long as he did, or provide as much data to the xenotransplant program. He was a man who was always thinking of others, especially myself and his two sons.

"The kindness and selfless acts of others were not unnoticed.

"Larry was consistently telling the nurses, support staff, and doctors how much he appreciated what they were doing for him.

"He was not only thinking about how this journey was helping to advance the xenotransplant program, but how it affected his family."

She said they have been 'in awe of the man that he was and now he has shaped our lives'.

The Faucette family has thanked the medical staff who have guided them from the first surgery.

Dr Bartley P. Griffith was the surgeon who transplanted the pigs heart into Lawrence.

He said: “We mourn the loss of Mr. Faucette, a remarkable patient, scientist, Navy veteran, and family man who just wanted a little more time to spend with his loving wife, sons, and family.

"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.”

Topics: Health, Technology