A 57-year-old man has become the first person in the world to receive a successful pig-to-human heart transplant. David Bennett Sr. was deemed ineligible for a typical transplant but was offered the somewhat experimental procedure as a last-ditch effort to save his life. Having been in hospital for more than a month and told he didn’t have long to live, he believed it was worth it to give it a try.
Bennett was extremely ill. He was experiencing a life-threatening case of heart arrhythmia and had been placed on a heart-lung bypass machine to keep him alive for several weeks before the procedure, the New York Times reports. Since he’d previously had surgery to place a pig valve into his heart, he wasn’t all that averse to the suggestion.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine received emergency FDA approval. Given that placing an animal heart into a human body may not end well, it isn’t a common procedure, nor is it one that’s entirely legal just yet. However, the FDA allowed a last-minute approval for the surgery given that Bennett knew and accepted the risks.
Bennett knew he had no other choice. “It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice. I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover,” he said. The heart was taken from a 240-pound male pig.
The pig’s heart that was used had been genetically altered. Regenerative medicine company Revivicor had altered the pig’s genes in order to create a heart that would be less likely to be rejected by Bennett’s body. In total, there were 10 genetic modifications, with four genes being inactivated, one of which is responsible for encoding a molecule that causes “an aggressive human rejection response,” according to the New York Times. In addition, six human genes were inserted into the donor pig to make the heart more tolerable to humans.
The surgery was precarious but it went well. Dr. Barltey Griffith, the director of the cardiac transplant program who performed the operation, opened up about how things went. “The anatomy was a little squirrelly, and we had a few moments of ‘uh-oh’ and had to do some clever plastic surgery to make everything fit,” Dr. Griffith said. As they removed the clamp that restricts blood supply, Griffiths noted that “the heart fired right up” and “the animal heart began to squeeze.” Bennett is still on the bypass machine but is expected to be taken off it as soon as Tuesday.
Reporter Hit By Car During Live News Broadcast Comes Back To Finish Segment
A television news reporter was hit by a car during a live broadcast but still managed to get up and finish her segment. Tori Yergey, a reporter for NBC affiliate WSAZ in West Virginia was at the scene of a water main break in Dunbar when a car hit her from behind, pushing her and her camera violently to the ground. However, she soon came back into the shot and assured everyone she was okay.
She could have been seriously hurt. While the collision looked quite serious, Yergey seemed okay as she assured in-studio anchor Tim Irr that she wasn’t severely injured. “Oh my God. I just got hit by a car, but I’m okay!” she said.
The driver of the car was mortified. However, she asked if Yorgey was okay by calling out through the driver’s side window of her car before stopping off-camera. Yorgey said she was and then joked, “That’s live TV for ya!”
Irr wanted to clarify what exactly happened to her. Because it all happened so quickly, it was unclear exactly what happened when Yorgey was hit. “So were you bumped down low Tori or were you hit up high? I couldn’t really tell from looking at you,” he asked. She replied: “I don’t even know, Tim. My whole life just flashed before my eyes, but this is live TV and everything’s OK. I thought I was in a safe spot but clearly we might need to move the camera over a bit.”
This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to her. Yorgey shared that she was hit in the same way back when she was in college. She was okay then as well, meaning she’s had some pretty lucky scrapes!
Yorgey was later assessed at a local hospital and was given a clean bill of health.
Man Who Shot And Killed Stepfather For Molesting Younger Sister Gets 1,800 Years In Jail
The family and friends of a Virginia man sentenced to 1,800 years behind bars for killing his abusive stepfather have launched a campaign to see him released. In 2003, 18-year-old Christopher Bennett was convicted of the murder of his stepfather Vincent McDorman after catching the man molesting Bennett’s younger sister. He was sentenced to three life sentences, the equivalent of 1,800 years at the time, but now his supporters are calling on Governor Ralph Northam to pardon him altogether.
Bennett’s sister, Victoria McDorman, is his most ardent supporter. At the time of the killing, Bennett is said to have broken into his stepfather’s home and caught him molesting Victoria. “Once he discovered he was molesting me, Chris ended up shooting and killing Vincent and then taking a checkbook and running away,” Victoria said, as per NBC 12. “Chris was charged that night with capital murder, breaking and entering, and robbery.”
Bennett never had much of a chance. When he was arrested, Victoria says her brother was given the choice between three life sentences of 600 years each or the death penalty. In other words, he never had a chance at having any kind of life again.
Victoria was too young at the time to share her story. However, now that she’s an adult and can clearly explain what happened that night and the abuse she experienced, she’s campaigning to make things right. “If he wouldn’t have done what he did that night, I would still be in that same situation and I wouldn’t have had the chance to live the life I’ve had,” she said.
The family has launched a Change.org petition for his release. At the time of writing, it now has more than 158,000 signatures out of the 200,000 it’s aiming to get and bring before the governor. “Look at his story, read his papers and please send him home, that’s where he needs to be and that’s where he belongs,” Elizabeth Ailstock, Bennett’s mother said. Governor Northam’s office issued the following statement: “Governor Northam has pardoned more people than any of the last nine governors combined. He is continuing to review this and other pardon petitions, and will do so through his last day in office.”
Pamela Anderson Files For Divorce From Fifth Husband After Only 13 Months
Pamela Anderson has reportedly filed for divorce from her fifth husband, Dan Hayhurst, after only 13 months of marriage, Rolling Stone reports. The actress is said to have filed the paperwork in Canada, where she and Hayhurst moved last year after their wedding. However, she’s been increasingly spending more time back in Malibu in recent months.
Anderson and Hayhurst only made their relationship official in 2020. They fell in love around the beginning of the year when coronavirus restrictions first came into place. The pair then relocated to Canada, though Anderson was spotted around Malibu more and more beginning in late 2021.
A source close to the couple described their relationship as a “pandemic whirlwind.” This same source is the one who revealed the couple was splitting, saying only: “Pamela loves as authentically as she lives.” They added that the relationship had simply fizzled out as the pandemic wore on.
Anderson and Hayhurst have a lot in common. Both are passionate about animal rights and bonded over their dedication to this cause. In fact, Hayhurst, a bodyguard, also happened to be a builder for the RASTA Sanctuary, a farm animal sanctuary located in Canada.
Anderson is known for her numerous marriages. Most recently, she married Hollywood mogul Jon Peters in January 2020 before filing for divorce only 12 days later. There is also, of course, her legendary marriage to Tommy Lee, with whom she has two adults sons. And let’s not forget that she was also married to both Rick Salomon and Kid Rock, as well.
Neither Anderson nor Hayhurst responded to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
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