The patient who recently received the world’s first heart transplant from a genetically modified pig has been labelled “undeserving” after it was revealed he had previously been jailed for stabbing another man seven times.
David Bennett, 57, from Maryland, underwent the groundbreaking surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore last week.
According to the Washington Post, Mr Bennett was convicted in 1988 of stabbing Edward Shumaker in a bar.
Mr Shumaker spent the next two decades in a wheelchair, before having a stroke and dying aged 40.
His sister, Leslie Shumaker Downey, told the Washington Post: “Ed suffered. The devastation and the trauma, for years and years, that my family had to deal with.
“Now he [Mr Bennett] gets a second chance with a new heart. But I wish, in my opinion, it had gone to a deserving recipient.”
The crime took place on April 30 1988 at the Double T Lounge in Hagerstown, Maryland, according to the newspaper.
Mr Bennett was arrested after a high-speed chase with police.
A jury acquitted him of intent to murder but found him guilty of battery and carrying a concealed weapon.
The judge reportedly called it an act of “extreme violence” and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.
The victim’s family also sued him and he was ordered to pay $3.4 million in damages, but they said it was never paid.
In a statement, the hospital said it provided “lifesaving care to every patient who comes through the doors based on their medical needs, not their background or life circumstances”.