Man who got first pig heart transplant dies two months after surgery
David Bennett, the 57-year-old man who received the world’s first pig heart transplant, has died two months after his surgery, the University of Maryland Medical Center announced Wednesday.
He was able to speak to his family and receive palliative care before his death, according to the hospital, which said the exact cause of death is not yet clear.
Bennett, who had previously been suffering from late-stage heart disease, was deemed ineligible for a traditional heart transplant.
He became the first person to receive a genetically modified pig heart on Jan. 7. The hospital said the heart was not rejected and worked well for the weeks following the surgery.
Bennett was able to watch last month’s Super Bowl and receive physical therapy.
“We are devastated by the loss of Mr. Bennett. He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family,” said Bartley P. Griffith, the surgeon who transplanted the pig heart.
The family said he is survived by two sisters, his two children, his five grandchildren and his dog Lucky.
“We are grateful for every innovative moment, every crazy dream, every sleepless night that went into this historic effort. We pray that those looking for hope will continue to fight for the future, fight for new ideas, fight for answers, fight for life. Fight like Dave,” his son said in a statement.