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First man to have a successful pig kidney transplant dies



First man to have a successful pig kidney transplant dies

The medical world is mourning the loss of Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, the first recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, who passed away two months after the groundbreaking operation.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where the historic procedure took place in March, announced Slayman’s death on Sunday, May 12, emphasizing that there was no indication his demise resulted from the transplant.

Slayman, who had been battling end-stage kidney disease along with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, underwent the pioneering surgery after facing complications with a previous human kidney transplant received in 2018, which began to fail after five years.

The success of Slayman’s pig kidney transplant was initially hailed as a milestone in xenotransplantation—the transplantation of living cells, tissues, or organs from one species to another. Following the March 16 procedure, his doctors confirmed that Slayman no longer required dialysis, indicating the new organ’s functionality.

In a heartfelt statement, MGH expressed gratitude for Slayman’s courage and willingness to push the boundaries of medical science, acknowledging him as a beacon of hope for transplant patients worldwide.

Slayman’s relatives echoed this sentiment, describing him as a source of inspiration and highlighting his desire to provide hope for thousands awaiting life-saving transplants. They remembered Slayman as a kind-hearted individual with a sharp sense of humor and unwavering dedication to his loved ones.

While Slayman’s case marked a significant advancement in xenotransplantation, it wasn’t the first instance of pig organs being used in transplant procedures. However, previous attempts, including two pig heart transplants, ended tragically as the recipients succumbed to complications shortly after surgery.

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