NATIONAL NEWS

Second person to receive experimental pig heart transplant dies nearly six weeks after procedure

Nov 1, 2023, 10:47 AM

Lawrence Faucette, seen here, sits with wife, Ann, in Baltimore in September, has died six weeks af...

Lawrence Faucette, seen here, sits with wife, Ann, in Baltimore in September, has died six weeks after receiving a genetically modified pig heart transplant. Mandatory Credit: Mark Teske/University of Maryland School of Medicine/AP

(CNN) — Lawrence Faucette, the second living person to receive a genetically modified pig heart in a transplant, has died six weeks after the experimental procedure. The University of Maryland Medical Center, where the experimental procedure had been performed, said the heart began to show signs of rejection in recent days.

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,” Dr. Bartley Griffith, clinical director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a statement.  Griffith had performed the experimental surgery.

Faucette, 58, was first admitted to UMMC on September 14 after experiencing symptoms of heart failure and underwent the experimental transplant six days later. His heart disease and pre-existing conditions made him ineligible for a traditional human heart transplant.

“My only real hope left is to go with the pig heart, the xenotransplant,” Faucette told the hospital in an internal interview several days before the surgery.

“We have no expectations other than hoping for more time together,” his wife, Ann Faucette, said at the time. “That could be as simple as sitting on the front porch and having coffee together.”

In the weeks that immediately followed the transplant, his doctors reported that he was making significant progress, including participating in physical therapy and spending time with this family.

One month after his surgery, his doctors said they believed his heart function was excellent and had withdrawn any drugs to support his heart function.

“We’ve had no evidence of infections and no evidence of rejection right now,” Griffith said at the time.

Doctors had treated Faucette with an experimental antibody treatment to further suppress the immune system and prevent rejection. However organ rejection is “the most significant challenge with traditional transplants involving human organs as well,” said UMMC in a statement.

In a statement regarding her husband’s passing, Ann thanked those involved in her husband’s care at UMMC.

“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,” she said.

According to the federal government, there are more than 113,000 people on the organ transplant list, including more than 3,300 people in need of a heart. The group Donate Life America says that 17 people die each day waiting for a donor organ.

In January 2022, the University of Maryland also performed the first such experimental surgery on 57-year-old David Bennett, who died two months following the surgery. While there were no signs of rejection in the initial weeks following the transplant, an autopsy concluded that Bennett ultimately died of heart failure from “a complex array of factors,” including Bennett’s condition prior to the surgery. A case study published in the Lancet also noted there was evidence of pig virus that had not been identified previously.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE - Chad Daybell is on trial for the murders of his wife Lori Vallow Daybell's two children, Jos...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Defense: Chad Daybell didn’t steal money from wife’s dead children

Chad Daybell's trial continues on Day 5, as the court discussed evidence that possibly connects Daybell to insurance fraud, with funds that were meant for Lori Vallow Daybell's murdered children.

8 hours ago

FILE - Celina Washburn protests outside the Arizona Capitol to voice her dissent for an abortion ru...

Arit John and Cheri Mossburg, CNN

Lawmakers vote against hearing Arizona bill repealing abortion ban on House floor

The Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives once again failed to advance a repeal of the state’s 160-year-old abortion ban Wednesday

13 hours ago

Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after giving up a two run home ...

Associated Press

A woman who accused Trevor Bauer of sex assault is now charged with defrauding the ex-MLB player

An Arizona woman who accused former major league pitcher Trevor Bauer of sexual assault has been charged with defrauding the baseball player.

13 hours ago

In this image from video from Senate Television, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., presiding over the Sen...

Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press

Senate dismisses two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security secretary, ends trial

The Senate has dismissed all impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, ending the House Republican push to remove the Cabinet secretary from office over his handling of the the U.S.-Mexico border and ending his trial before arguments even began.

13 hours ago

FILE  -A Ford Bronco is displayed at a Gus Machado Ford dealership on Jan. 23, 2023, in Hialeah, Fl...

Wyatt Grantham-Phillips

Ford recalls over 456,000 Bronco Sport and Maverick cars due to loss of drive power risk

Ford is recalling more than 456,000 Bronco Sport and Maverick vehicles due to a battery detection issue that can result in loss of drive power, increasing crash risks.

17 hours ago

Melatonin use can be especially dangerous in children and should only be used after consulting a pe...

Sandee LaMotte

Melatonin industry asked to voluntarily tighten standards after dramatic rise in childhood ER visits

A March 2024 report from the CDC discovered some 11,000 children had been seen in emergency rooms between 2019 and 2022 after ingesting melatonin while unsupervised.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Second person to receive experimental pig heart transplant dies nearly six weeks after procedure