Promising Procedure at University of Maryland Faces Setback as Patient Passes Away
Lawrence Faucette, a 58-year-old patient with terminal heart disease, underwent a groundbreaking genetically engineered pig heart transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Tragically, Mr. Faucette passed away on October 30, just six weeks after the surgery, despite the institution’s meticulous precautions.
Faucette’s journey began when he arrived at the University of Maryland Medical Center on September 14, suffering from end-stage heart failure. His deteriorating condition rendered him ineligible for a traditional human heart transplant. In an effort to extend his life, the US Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency authorization for him to receive a genetically engineered pig heart. This pioneering procedure was Mr. Faucette’s only viable option, and he consented to it after a thorough understanding of the associated risks.
In the initial weeks following the transplant, Lawrence Faucette displayed promising progress. He was actively engaging in physical therapy, spending quality time with his family, and even playing cards with his wife. However, in the days leading up to his unfortunate demise, signs of organ rejection emerged as his immune system identified the pig heart as foreign and launched an attack. Organ rejection is a formidable challenge faced in both traditional human organ transplants and xenotransplantation.