Heart Transplant Recipient Dies 6 WEEKS After Operation

(NewsSpace.com) – Medical advancements happen all the time as researchers learn and experiment more. In recent times, doctors have begun the process of transplanting animal organs into humans in an effort to offer more solutions. However, a man who recently died after receiving a pig’s heart shows that there’s still more work to be done.

Lawrence Faucette, who was suffering from end-stage heart disease, underwent surgery on September 20 to replace his ticker with a pig’s in only the second surgery of its kind. The transplant seemed to take, and doctors were happy with the results during the first four weeks following the operation. However, when they weaned Faucette off of the drugs that were supporting the transplant, things went downhill. The man’s body rejected the heart, and on Monday, October 30, Faucette passed away.

Faucette’s wife released a statement through the hospital, noting that her husband didn’t expect to live “as long as he did” and “knew his time was short,” per Fox News. She thanked the team responsible for his care.

The 58-year-old patient was the second to receive a pig’s heart in a xenotransplant, the term for replacing a human organ with an animal’s. In 2022, 57-year-old David Bennett, Sr., received a pig heart and lived two months before it failed. At the time, medical professionals determined that there was a virus inside the organ that contributed to its failure, along with Bennett’s health condition, before the surgery took place.

Despite the only two surgeries of its kind failing, the medical advancements won’t stop here. Scientists are working to genetically modify pigs in an attempt to make their organs more human-like so they can continue to help save lives in the future. According to Donate Life, there are more than 100,000 people who need organ transplants, and 17 people die every day waiting. Out of those on the list, more than 3,000 are in need of a donor’s heart.

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