20 AMERICANS DIE EACH DAY WAITING FOR ORGANS. CAN PIGS SAVE THEM?

ANCHORING A ROW of family photos in Joseph Tector’s office is a framed, autographed picture of Baby Fae, the California newborn who made headlines in 1984 when she received a baboon’s heart to replace her own malfunctioning organ.

It’s inscribed “To Joe” by Leonard L. Bailey, the surgeon who turned to the monkey heart as the only option to keep his patient alive. Bailey snapped the picture about five days after the operation, while Stephanie Fae Beauclair was sleeping. A strip of surgical tape runs down the center of her chest from neck to diaper, marking the incision line where her rib cage was pulled apart to make the swap. Baby Fae would die less than three weeks later.

 

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