An American man has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.
David Bennett, 57, is reportedly doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore, doctors say.
The transplant was considered the last hope to save Bennett’s life, however it is unclear what his long-term chances of survival are.
“It was either die or do this transplant,” Bennett explained a day before the surgery. “I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” he said.
Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were granted a special dispensation by the US medical regulator to carry out the procedure, on the basis that Bennett would otherwise have died.
He had been deemed ineligible for a human transplant, a decision that is often taken by doctors when the patient is in very poor health.
For the medical team who carried out the transplant, it marks the culmination of years of research and could change lives around the world.
What will happen next is unclear. The pig that had been used in the transplant had been genetically modified to knock out several genes that would have led to the heart being rejected by Bennett’s body.
Sources: BBC, Yahoo
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