Lawrence Faucette, the second living person to receive an experimental pig heart transplant, has sadly passed away approximately six weeks after the groundbreaking procedure. The University of Maryland Medical Center, where the experimental surgery took place, confirmed that Faucette’s body had shown signs of rejecting the pig heart in recent days.
Dr. Bartley Griffith, the clinical director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, expressed his condolences and shared Faucette’s final wishes. Faucette had requested that the medical team use the knowledge gained from his experience to help others in need of a new heart when human organ options are unavailable. Dr. Griffith had performed the innovative surgery.
Faucette, 58, had been admitted to UMMC on September 14 after experiencing symptoms of heart failure. Due to his heart disease and pre-existing conditions, he was not eligible for a traditional human heart transplant. As a result, he underwent the experimental xenotransplantation procedure six days after being admitted.
Before the surgery, Faucette had expressed his hope for more time together with his family through the pig heart transplant. His wife, Ann Faucette, had shared their simple but meaningful aspirations, such as enjoying coffee together on the front porch.
In the immediate weeks following the transplant, Faucette had shown significant progress, including active participation in physical therapy and spending quality time with his family. His journey had been closely followed and had generated considerable interest in the field of xenotransplantation.