Navy veteran who received pig heart transplant in September dies

by Tommy Grant

After living for six weeks with a pig heart transplant, the second-ever recipient of the experimental organ donation has died.

Lawrence Faucette, 58, a Navy veteran from Frederick, Maryland, was suffering from fatal heart disease when he underwent the Sept. 20 surgery. He passed away on Oct. 30.

Navy veteran Lawrence Faucette was facing near-certain death and became the second person in the world to receive a pig heart transplant.

“We mourn the loss of Mr. Faucette, a remarkable patient, scientist, Navy veteran, and family man who just wanted a little more time to spend with his loving wife, sons, and family,” Bartley Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart at the University of Maryland Medical Center, said in a release.

Faucette’s procedure bought him time that would not have otherwise been possible after he was determined to be ineligible for a traditional heart transplant. The Associated Press previously reported that Faucette was making jokes with the doctors just 48 hours after the transplant.

His final hope, according to medical staff, was to be a beacon for patients around the world in need of such surgeries.

“Mr. Faucette’s last wish was for us to make the most of what we have learned from our experience, so others may be guaranteed a chance for a new heart when a human organ is unavailable. He then told the team of doctors and nurses who gathered around him that he loved us. We will miss him tremendously.”

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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