The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

Can pigs save lives?

Lily Warnert
Is animal organ transplantation the future of human medicine and science?

Lawrence Faucette was saved from his death bed by a heart transplant from a pig last summer.

Faucette has been suffering from a heart disease for the past decade, and was planning on stopping his treatment, and he began to lose hope. However, this is when Faucette’s doctor asked the question: “Would they ever consider xenotransplantation?

Sarah Crandall, a science teacher from Sartell High School, defines Xenotransplantation as, “Using animal parts to transplant into human. Pigs have the most compatible markers for humans.

Pigs are becoming genetically and physically modified to more fit for humans (Photo via under the creative commons license).

The idea of using animal organs to provide for other species has been done before, but never to this extent. Pig organs are extremely similar to human organs. Pig heart valves have been used for more than three decades to repair human hearts. 

After Faucette’s transplant, the procedure seemed to be working positively. However, after 40 days, Faucette’s new heart went into failure. Doctors determined that there was a virus within the heart that caused the failure. The pig was screened for pathogens before that transplant, and those screenings came up negative. There is being more detailed protocols being put in place to prevent this from future cases.

Mark Kripner, a science teacher from Sartell High School believes; “Xenotransplantation is the future of science. The studies will continue to grow and improve with time.”

This diagram highlights the process of qualifications for pigs in Xenotransplantation for humans (Photo via under the creative commons license).

Technology in the xenotransplantation department is growing everyday. Researchers and doctors have been abundant in breakthroughs involving the topic of xenotransplantation.

Although Faucette’s transplant ended in sorrow, xenotransplantations have saved so many lives. Xenotransplantation could be a prominent source in future medical care.



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About the Contributor
Lily Warnert
Lily Warnert, Journalist
Grade: Junior Favorite Quote: "Do your best, don't sweat the rest." - Dave Driste Hobbies: Dance, photography, personal-stylist, sleeping Favorite Holiday: Valentines Day Most Iconic Celebrity: Kanye West