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Pig Heart Boy author Malorie Blackman responds to news of US pig heart transplant: ‘Called it’

Former Children’s Laureate released book about boy being given heart transplant from a pig in 1997

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 11 January 2022 16:34 GMT
BBC One's adaptation of Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses - trailer

Malorie Blackman has compared the news of a human being given a heart transplant from a pig to her book Pig Heart Boy.

In 1997, the former Children’s Laureate released a kids book about a 13-year-old boy with a serious heart condition who is given the heart of a pig in an experimental transplant.

On Monday (10 January), the story became a reality after surgeons in Maryland successfully implanted the heart of a genetically modified pig into a human patient.

The surgery saved the life of 57-year-old patient David Bennett, who had previously been deemed ineligible for a traditional heart transplant.

Resharing a news story about the operation, Blackman wrote: “I hope it works out for the man involved. Can’t help but have a little smile though.”

The Noughts and Crosses writer then added the hashtags: “Calledit” and “#PigHeartBoy”.

In a second tweet, Blackman wrote: “More info on the world’s first pig heart transplant – xenotransplantation from a genetically modified pig. At least I got my facts correct in my book Pig Heart Boy! Good luck to David Bennett.”

The news delighted fans, with one commenter replying to Blackman: “I was really confused when I heard the news this morning as I thought it had happened years ago, turns out I was just thinking of your book.”

“I was reading the news to my kids this morning and my son said ‘it’s already been done, it was in Pig Heart Boy,” another wrote.

Pig Heart Boy was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal literary award and adapted into a CBBC miniseries in 1999.

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