PIG HEARTS SAVE HUMAN LIVES
Pig heart transplants to humans is all over the internet. Doctors see it as saving lives but healthy people can’t fathom the concept. They should have been in ‘Nam.
September 19, 2022
Col. Sam Harper, Dogsport Reconnaissance
One of my buddies got the pig heart surgery, termed Xenotransplantation, after being on the transplant list a long time. While waiting for approval it was “touch and go” but he was used to that. Tim is a smart guy so I knew he had done his homework.
He said transplanting hearts was successful in pigs which are used in all kinds of human medical experiments. I didn’t know that. Hell, we had pigs all over the place in ’Nam. They were pets or pests depending on perspective. In Tim’s case even after being approved and him being a veteran, it took a while to get his pig but he got the surgery in early July, right after the 4th.
He said they couldn’t have picked a better day to give him his freedom back.
When Tim first told me about the new kind of heart surgery I looked it up. I knew some of our field surgeons pretty well and I can tell you that it was tough being on the front lines. That’s “courage under fire” and stopping a bleed out when things are popping takes a special kind of cool.
So here’s the deal about transplants and how far we’ve come. I looked it up and they did successful kidney transplants 1954. By 2003 transplant surgery was so much safer that the military agreed to approve organ donations by military service members who lost their lives during Operation Iraqi.
Tim said the docs agreed that organ donations were a doable “good cause” and the lawyers convinced the government to move quickly on that issue. He’s right about our hospitals. I know first-hand that base hospitals are the world’s best for surgical procedures but the real heroes were our combat medics. Those guys saved limbs and lives right there on the battlefield. I can’t help ‘observing’ that today people can die while waiting for an ambulance to get through traffic.
Back to Tim. Animal organs are used a lot now. I’m okay with that. There’s more of them. Said to be as intelligent as dogs, killing pigs for human medical experiments bothers some people but hell, those same folks probably eat barbequed ribs.
So this isn’t about animal cruelty, it is about gratitude to yet another animal species that gives its life so humans can live better.
Transplanting organs from animals to human patients is gaining know-how as the lifespan and demand increases. According to the FDA, in 2022 there’s 10 patients a day who die while waiting for donated organs. Hell, they’d do better in the military! We all agreed to donate organs.
The only problem was getting the parts to where they were needed. Today I guess they just pop a pig heart in a freezer bag and fly it to the patient. Not everything is better in 2022 but we can agree that surgeries have advanced beyond anything we imagined 20 years ago.
My hat’s off to medics and to those pigs. You dog people know how smart pigs are. We kill animals by the thousands, every week, to put meat in the markets. We don’t think about that. Well, I will, and I’ll think of Tim and hundreds more like him.
Breakfast without bacon or sausage isn’t breakfast for me but what animals do for us humans makes you think. This made me appreciate pigs in a new way. Animals feed, clothe and comfort us. Now we can say they even give us life.
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