US Patient Who Received First Pig Kidney Transplant Dies After Two Months

Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, had end-stage kidney illness before the March surgery.

The first man to get a genetically modified pig kidney transplant died two months after the surgery, according to the hospital that performed the treatment.

Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, had end-stage kidney illness before the March surgery.

On Sunday, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) stated that there was no indication that his death was caused by the transplant.

Other organ transplants from genetically engineered pigs have failed in the past, but Mr Slayman’s procedure was hailed as a historic milestone.

In addition to kidney illness, Mr Slayman had Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In 2018, he underwent a human kidney transplant, however it failed after five years.

Following his pig kidney transplant on March 16, his physicians stated he no longer required dialysis because the replacement organ was said to be operating properly.

“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 stated in a statement.

Xenotransplantation is the transfer of living cells, tissues, or organs from one species into another.

MGH expressed “deep sadness” over his abrupt passing and sent condolences to his family.

Mr Slayman’s relatives described his story as inspirational.

“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 stated.

“Rick accomplished his aim, and his hope and optimism will last 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 stated.

While Mr. Slayman received the first pig kidney transplanted into a person, it was not the first pig organ used in a transplant surgery.

Two more patients received pig heart transplants, but both died within a few weeks.

In one case, there were indications that the patient’s immune system had rejected the organ, a usual concern in transplants.

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