Sir Terence English who performed that very first successful heart transplant at Papworth says he believes using organs from pigs in humans could be possible in the next two or three years.
Sir Terence, who has been visiting the new Royal Papworth Hospital building to mark the anniversary of the first successful operation, admits there will be ethical issues to deal with.
ITV News Anglia spoke to him about the pressures of 40 years ago and his thoughts about the future:
- How much pressure was there on you to succeed?
- When it became clear that this had become a successful transplant did that instantly change things for you at the hospital or did you have to fight quite so hard for subsequent support and funding?
- Thousands of transplants have since taken place but there is still this long waiting list of course, demand is greater than supply. You’ve spoken about the possibility of pig organs being used to end that waiting list, how realistic do you think that is?
- And incredible if that does work, but can you understand there may be some ethical questions over that?