David Bennett, 57, suffered arrythmia that could not be treated, so the United States Food and Drug Administration granted special permission for a transplant from a pig that had been genetically altered to make its heart less likely to be rejected.
Bennett said “it was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice.”
Bennett initially recovered so well that the hospital released a video of him working with his therapist while watching the Super Bowl.
To promote the human bodies acceptable of the pig heart, scientists modified the pig’s genes by removing three rejection triggers while adding six human immune acceptance genes.