PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Doctors on Friday upgraded from critical to serious the condition of a man who received a baboon's liver in a historic transplant operation six days ago.
"His liver function is improving and they are pleased with his rate of recovery," said Lisa Rossi, spokeswoman for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The patient, a 35-year-old man who has requested anonymity, ate and took a walk Friday for the first time since the surgery, the world's first baboon-to-human liver transplant operation.
He ate gelatin and walked down the halls of the intensive care unit of Presbyterian-University Hospital.
The patient is taking four drugs in an attempt to prevent rejection of the liver. The primary anti-rejection drug is FK506, the experimental substance that surgeons say made the baboon transplant possible. It works by stopping the body's immune system from attacking the foreign organ.