A US Patient Who Underwent The First Pig Kidney Transplant Has Passed Away After Two Months

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A US Patient Who Underwent The First Pig Kidney Transplant Has Passed Away After Two Months

Richard “Rick” Slayman, aged 62, battled end-stage kidney disease prior to undergoing the procedure in March.

The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where the historic operation took place, reported that Mr. Slayman, the first recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, passed away two months after the surgery.

While he also grappled with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, there is no indication that his demise was linked to the transplant.

Despite previous failures of organ transplants from genetically modified pigs, Mr. Slayman’s procedure was celebrated as a significant breakthrough.

After enduring a human kidney transplant in 2018, which began to deteriorate after five years, Mr. Slayman found relief with the pig kidney transplant on March 16th, as his doctors confirmed that he no longer required dialysis and that the new organ was functioning effectively.

“Mr Slayman will forever be seen as a beacon of hope to countless transplant patients worldwide and we are deeply grateful for his trust and willingness to advance the field of xenotransplantation,” MGH said in a statement.

Xenotransplantation involves the transfer of living cells, tissues, or organs from one species to another. MGH expressed profound sorrow over his unexpected passing and extended condolences to his family. Mr. Slayman’s loved ones remarked that his journey served as a source of inspiration.

“Rick said that one of the reasons he underwent this procedure was to provide hope for the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive,” they said.

“Rick accomplished that goal and his hope and optimism will endure forever. To us, Rick was a kind-hearted man with a quick-witted sense of humour who was fiercely dedicated to his family, friends, and co-workers,” they added.

Although Mr. Slayman received the inaugural pig kidney transplant, it isn’t the first instance of a pig organ being utilized in a transplant procedure.

Two other individuals underwent pig heart transplants, but unfortunately, both cases ended in failure, with the recipients passing away mere weeks later.

In one instance, there were indications that the patient’s immune system had rejected the organ, a typical risk associated with transplantation.

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