A man just had a successful heart transplant and is now the proud owner of a new pig heart.

When I see the headline "The First Successful Pig-To-Human Heart Transplant", the first thing that comes to mind is the funny line from "Talladega Nights" where Ricky Bobby wins a race and his crew chief comes over to tell him that he needs to drive less recklessly. Ricky then references someone getting a heart transplant from a pig. In case you need a refresher, here is that clip:

What was meant to be a joke in this movie has now become a reality. A man seriously just had a successful pig-to-human heart transplant and this could lead to so many life-saving procedures in the future.

57-year-old Dave Bennett underwent a successful heart transplant where he now has the heart of a genetically altered pig beating inside his chest. The procedure was done at the University of Maryland Medical Center. According to USA Today, the nine-hour experimental surgery was something that Bennett volunteered for. Doctors replaced his heart with one from a 1-year-old, 240-pound pig gene-edited and bred specifically for this purpose.

How is Bennett doing after his surgery? USA Today reports that he is breathing on his own without the use of a ventilator. However, he is still on an ECMO machine that helps to pump blood throughout his body. The doctors plan to slowly wean him off of that machine and send him home to live his best life!

Why A Pig's Heart?

According to the article from USA Today, apparently, pigs have organs similar to humans. There are so many people out there who are never considered to be candidates for organ transplants, or in most cases, they are on the transplant lists for far too long. The hope from doctors is that procedure will lead to other organ transplants from animals that can save human lives. If this transplant is any indication of things to come, we could see a lot more people living longer lives due to these advances in science. So it sounds like Ricky Bobby was onto something all the way back in 2006!

While this is a great breakthrough, there is still a lot that needs to be done to provide these kinds of transplants to folks who currently need them. Until then, the best thing that we can do as a society is to become organ donors to help those in need. You can find out more about how to become an organ donor in Indiana by clicking the button below.

(H/T- USA Today)

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