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Man gets pig heart in world-first transplant

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Surgeon Bartley P. Griffith pictured with David Bennett earlier this month
Surgeon Bartley P. Griffith pictured with David Bennett earlier this month

A US man has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

David Bennett is doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore, doctors say.

The transplant was considered the last hope of saving Mr Bennett’s life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances of survival are.

“It was either die or do this transplant,” Mr Bennet, 57, explained, a day before the surgery.

“I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice.”

Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were granted a special dispensation by the US medical regulator to carry out the procedure, on the basis that Mr Bennett would otherwise have died.

For the medical team who did the transplant, it marks the culmination of years of research – and could change lives around the world.

Surgeon Bartley P. Griffith said the surgery would bring the world “one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis”, the University of Maryland School of Medicine said in a release. That crisis means that 17 people a day in the US die waiting for an organ transplant, with more than 100,000 on the waiting list, according to OrganDonor.gov.

The possibility of using animal organs for so-called xenotransplantation to meet the demand has long been considered, and using pig heart valves is already common.

In October 2021, surgeons in New York announced they had successfully transplanted a pig’s kidney into a person. At the time, the operation was the most advanced experiment in the field so far.

However, the recipient on that occasion was brain dead with no hope of recovery.

Mr Bennett, however, is hoping his transplant will allow him to continue with his life. He was bedridden for six week leading up to the surgery, attached to a machine which was keeping him alive after being diagnosed with terminal heart disease.

“I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover,” he said last Thursday.

Exactly what will happen next is unclear. The pig used in the transplant had been genetically modified to knock out a gene which produces a sugar which would trigger an immune response in humans, AFP news agency reports.

Mr Griffith said they were “proceeding cautiously”, carefully monitoring Mr Bennett, while his son David Bennett Jr admitted to news agency AP they were “in the unknown at this point”.

But he added: “He realizes the magnitude of what was done and he really realizes the importance of it.”

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BREAKING: Bandits currently attacking Kebbi community

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Bandits are currently attacking Ayu, Danko Wasagu Local Government Area (LGA) of Kebbi State, POLITICS NIGERIA.

Bandits attacks in Kebbi state have been on the ascendancy in recent months.
Hundreds of the residents have fled their homes, relocating to other towns in the state and internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps.
Recall POLITICS NIGERIA had exclusively reported the bandits attack that occurred on January 14: 17 residents were brutally murdered and many more abducted in a punitive expedition.
Four days after the carnage of January 14 in Dankade, the bandits raided Ayu, and abducted 29 villagers into the forest.
Unlike cases in other North-west states, attacks in rural Kebbi are hardly reported in the media. Over 200 lives were lost to banditry in the state in 2021 alone, this newspaper’s findings revealed.

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How Osinbajo transformed my life – Former Secretary

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Alhaji Abdul Gafar Bakare
Alhaji Abdul Gafar Bakare says Prof. Yemi Osinbajo impacted his life and that of many others

Alhaji Abdul Gafar Bakare, former confidential secretary to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo while he was the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State has narrated his experience when he worked with him for eight years.

A devoted Muslim, Bakare had been a secretary at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice prior to the appointment of Osinbajo in 1999. But the appointment changed his life forever.

Prior working with the Vice President he was a trained secretary with no university education.

“Prof. (Osinbajo) not only encouraged me to further my education even at my relatively old age, he personally sponsored my BSc Accounting programme and even sponsored my pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.”

Bakare recalled that he was not the only beneficiary of Osinbajo’s large heart.

“He also sponsored some of our colleagues who became lawyers while others are into other professions”.

He added that, “Prof. is a distinctive person that one needs to emulate. He is a contented man who accommodates any serious minded individual. Even with his present position he still gives recognition to those he knows before becoming Vice President.

“I am most grateful to Allah for the opportunity of working with this kind and generous boss. I also count it as a privilege to express my views about my boss,” he said.

Bakare says he has since retired from the state civil service.

While in office as Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Osinbajo undertook far-reaching judicial reform in Lagos State, addressing critical areas as judges’ recruitment, remuneration, training and discipline.

The emoluments of Lagos judges witnessed and increase of more than 300 per cent, a situation that made the judges to earn more than Supreme Court Justices.

The Federal and State governments soon followed the good example he laid to gibe better packages to judicial officers.

He also addressed access to justice for the poor by the establishment of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC), the first of its kind in Nigeria.

These offices have now been replicated in all states across the Federation. He transformed the office as well as his immediate staff.

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‘Attention I Get These Days Is Overwhelming’ – Eniola Badmus

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Janice Tyo

Nollywood actress Eniola Badmus has revealed that the attention she gets recently is overwhelming.

Recall that the actress went on a weight loss journey, that has now left her looking all gorgeously trimmed.

The actress in a post via her Instagram page on Tuesday revealed that she gets a lot of attention these days, which makes her feel like she is a new baby. She further stated that this is a new journey for her.

She wrote: ‘’The attention I get now is quite overwhelming feels like I’m a newborn baby, it’s  a new life for me and a new journey so walk with me on this and be a partaker don’t dull.’’

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