By David Kittredge
In late breaking news, doctors have confirmed that a Bloomingvale, Missouri woman, Penelope Flowers, has been recovering well after her revolutionary, first of its kind, pig heart to human transplant. The patient is reportedly up and about a mere three weeks after her twelve-hour surgical procedure. Penelope has been walking about the hospital grounds daily, and her appetite is recovering nicely. But she has been exhibiting strange behavioral patterns such as oinking in excitement whenever hospital staff bring her meals into her room, and she has apparently been eating without the use of utensils, which she claims just slows down her intake of food. It is rumored that Miss Flowers also now has a curlicue growth extending from her coccyx, otherwise known as the tail bone.
Of course, this is fake news, so far. But scientists are now claiming that pig heart transplants for humans are a possibility in the near future. Many organs now can be transplanted from human to human, to include liver, kidney, pancreas, lung, intestine and more. These operations have become commonplace, and many of us know of someone who has had an organ transplant procedure. Oddly, when these organ transplants occur, memories and personality traits are sometimes transplanted with the organs. According to Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a graduate of MIT and Johns Hopkins, “There’s also some intriguing new evidence from heart and lung transplant cases where recipients take on personality characteristics of the donors of whom they knew nothing.”
A young woman from Atlanta, Georgia had a liver transplant procedure, and a couple of years later, she suddenly had a newfound yearning to work with her hands. She started doing carpentry projects around her home using power tools in spite of the fact that she had no previous training in working with wood or in using power tools. She researched the person who had donated the liver and found out from his family that he loved doing remodeling projects in his home.
In another instance, a 47-year-old foundry worker had a heart transplant, the heart donor was a young boy. The heart recipient developed a passion for classical music. The man later met the mother of the boy and found out that the boy had been taking violin lessons and upon leaving his music lesson one day he was shot and killed.
I had a friend who was awaiting a large-intestine transplant, and his doctors told him that when a patient received the new organ, the donor’s particular cravings were sometimes passed on to the recipient. For instance, maybe the previous owner of the large intestine preferred anchovies on their pizza, the donee of the intestine might now crave anchovies also, even though they had never cared for them before. With medicine there is oftentimes a side effect or some sort of trade off.
So, if the lowly large intestine can affect one’s personality, what do you suppose a pig heart implanted into a human could do to one’s character traits. Now my opening paragraph doesn’t seem quite so far fetched does it? If a human receives a pig heart transplant there may be some unwanted side effects, like having urges to rifle through the kitchen trash can in hopes of finding a tasty morsel to snack on. Hey, waste bin not, want not, or something like that.
If a human has to have an animal heart planted into them, why not choose an animal heart that would be more to their liking, such as a lion’s heart, which could include the trait of courage but, might also leave them with a very bad temper. Or, if one is overweight and they find it hard to stick to a diet plan, why not implant a bird’s heart and then maybe the trait of eating like a bird could be transferred. Of course it would have to be a large bird heart such as an ostrich ticker but, then the person might not want to deal with bad situations and end up burying their proverbial head in the sand. If you are a political animal, and say a staunch democrat, you might opt for a donkey heart in hope that it would make you even stauncher, or in the case of a republican you might chose an elephant heart. Of course we must keep in mind the potential side effects. Perhaps, people running for office shouldn’t be allowed these types of procedures because we don’t want our politicians braying in public or trumpeting through their nose, which could be construed as tooting your own horn. No, we wouldn’t want our civic leaders acting in that fashion, would we.
If I had to have an animal heart implanted I would choose a beaver heart because of the potential side effect involved. You may find this choice a little strange but, some Native American tribes hold the beaver in high regard. After all, the beaver has nice teeth, they are good swimmers, they are crafty builders and they are good percussionists. On the downside though, if you were my neighbor, I’d probably be a little rough on your trees.