The first patient with pig kidney transplant dies two months after the operation

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It has been announced that the first patient to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant passed away two months after the surgery.

Richard Slayman, aged 62, was in the final stage of kidney failure before the transplant in March.

The Massachusetts General Hospital, where the transplant took place, stated that there were no indications that the pig kidney transplant contributed to Slayman’s death.

While organ transplants from genetically modified pigs have failed in the past, Slayman’s transplant was considered a milestone.

In addition to kidney failure, Slayman also battled Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Despite receiving a human kidney transplant in 2018, it became nonfunctional five years later.

Following the pig kidney transplant on March 16, it was reported that Slayman no longer needed dialysis and that the new organ was functioning well.

In a statement from the hospital, Slayman was recognized as a beacon of hope for numerous transplant patients worldwide and was deeply appreciated for his faith in progress and determination regarding xenotransplantation.

Xenotransplantation refers to the transfer of living cells, tissues, or organs from one species to another.

While expressing great sorrow over Slayman’s death and offering condolences to his family, the MGH stated that Slayman’s relatives described his story as inspiring.

In their statement, his family said, “One of the reasons Rick accepted this surgery was to bring hope to the thousands of people who need organ transplants to survive. He achieved that goal. His hope and optimism will always be with us.”

Slayman was the first patient to undergo a pig kidney transplant.

Previously, two patients had received pig heart transplants, but these attempts failed, and the patients passed away within a few weeks.