Failed Experiment: “Pig Man” Who Accepted Mutant Pig Heart Transplant Dies After Two Months as a Monster

It turns out, science has yet to perfect turning people into Lovecraftian monsters.

The Guardian:

The first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig has died, two months after the groundbreaking experiment, the Maryland hospital that performed the surgery announced on Wednesday.

David Bennett, 57, died on Tuesday at the University of Maryland medical center. Doctors did not give an exact cause of death, saying only that his condition had begun deteriorating several days earlier.

Bennett’s son praised the hospital for offering the last-ditch experiment, saying the family hoped it would help further efforts to end the organ shortage.

“We are grateful for every innovative moment, every crazy dream, every sleepless night that went into this historic effort,” David Bennett Jr said in a statement released by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We hope this story can be the beginning of hope and not the end.”

Doctors for decades have sought to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Bennett, a handyman from Hagerstown, Maryland, was a candidate for this newest attempt only because he otherwise faced certain death ineligible for a human heart transplant, bedridden and on life support, and out of other options.

After the 7 January operation, Bennett’s son told the Associated Press his father knew there was no guarantee it would work.

Prior attempts at such transplants – or xenotransplantation – have failed largely because patients’ bodies rapidly rejected the animal organ. This time, the Maryland surgeons used a heart from a gene-edited pig.

Scientists had modified the animal to remove pig genes that trigger the hyper-fast rejection and add human genes to help the body accept the organ.

At first the pig heart was functioning, and the Maryland hospital issued periodic updates that Bennett seemed to be slowly recovering. Last month, the hospital released video of him watching the Super Bowl from his hospital bed while working with his physical therapist.

The need for another source of organs is huge. More than 41,000 transplants were performed in the US last year, a record – including about 3,800 heart transplants. But more than 106,000 people remain on the national waiting list, thousands die every year before getting an organ and thousands more never even get added to the list, considered too much of a long shot.

Yes, people can never die ever, that is part of the Iron Law of The Science. And it is only Russians who are allowed to stop eating pink goo and drinking corn syrup.

So we need to perfect this Lovecraftian monster thing.

Editor’s Note (AA): 

Speaking of Lovecraftian monsters, I finally watched Color Out of Space. It really is the Lovecraft movie I’ve always wanted, except that it has a black guy in it. And the Mayor of Arkham is like, a Chinese woman. That did a lot to kill the mood for sure, but it was just so perfectly done otherwise, not even ridiculous forced diversity could ruin it.

The 1970s Italian style posters delivered on their promise.

Dario Argento would have been proud, if not outraged by the diversity casting. But he might be too outraged over his daughter having sex with Harvey Weinstein and then publicly whining about it and then driving that poor chef to suicide to be outraged about a negro in a film tribute to him (partial tribute, I guess, or a film with several nods – it’s not just a pure homage to Argento or 70s horror in general).

I want to do a full write up of it. I was going to go back and read the story first, because I haven’t read that one in a while, but I did read 3-4 of the other HP Lovecraft classics either in 2020 or 2021 – who knows, those years were both the same. And basically, every HP Lovecraft story is the same. So I think I’m qualified to discuss it without a refresher on the source material.

I’ve been wanting to do movie reviews for a while now. I watch at least one or two a week these days, and keep thinking “I should review these” and never do.

I want to make an Argento tribute film about the Pig Man. But I’d probably go in saying “Argento tribute” and then it would turn into pure Cronenberg. Aides would be telling me “Anglin, you’ve gone too far – this is no longer an Argento tribute, you’re just copying Cronenberg.”

Then I would be driven insane by the process of making the film and turn into a recluse, living in a cabin fearing the monsters that science is creating will be unleashed on the earth.

You know – this whole “vaccines actually are altering the DNA” could get very Lovecraftian.