Dying handyman David Bennett received a genetically engineered pig heart more than three decades after he stabbed a man seven times in a bar, paralyzing him
A dying craftsman who became the world’s first patient to receive a heart transplant from a genetically modified pig stabbed a man he met in a bar seven times more than three decades ago.
The stabbing left the man paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, the Daily Mail reports.
David Bennett, 57, was in prison for assaulting then-22-year-old Edward Shumaker while he was playing pool at a Maryland bar in April 1988 after he caught his then-wife Norma Jean Bennett playing on Shumakers lap while the two talked and drank.
Shumaker suffered blows to his back, abdomen, and chest. He remained paralyzed for 19 years before suffering a stroke in 2005 and dying two years later at the age of 40.
Bennett, 23 at the time of the attack, was convicted of assault and carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but did not serve his entire sentence.
His exact time behind bars remains unknown, but Shumaker’s family said it had been five years.
Last Friday, the ex-convict, who suffered from terminal heart failure and an uncontrollable irregular heartbeat, underwent a landmark transplant that saved his life.
dr Bartley Griffith, who led the transplant team at the University of Maryland Medical Center, told USA Today, “The new heart is still a rock star beyond our expectations.”
However, Shumaker’s family, who learned about the surgery through media coverage, feel Bennett did not deserve the innovative medical treatment and wished the pig’s heart had been given to someone else in need.
Shumaker’s sister, Leslie Shumaker, told the Washington Post, “The devastation and trauma my family has had to deal with for years. Bennett moved on and lived a good life.
“Now he’s getting a second chance with a new heart – but I wish it had gone to a worthy recipient.”
The code of medical ethics requires physicians to “devote themselves to the provision of competent medical services with compassion and respect” to all patients.
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