Man Who Underwent First Pig Kidney Transplant Has Died


62-year-old Richard “Rick” Slayman, the first man to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, has died. This comes two months following the operation.

Slayman had experienced end-stage kidney disease prior to undergoing the procedure in March.

On Sunday, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) stated that there was no signs that his death was because of the transplant.

Although transplants of other organs from genetically modified pigs haven’t been successful before, the procedure done on Mr. Slayman was seen as a “historic milestone.”

Not only did he have kidney disease, but he also suffered from Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Slayman had a human kidney transplant procedure done in 2018. However, it started to fail after 5 years.

After receiving the pig kidney on March 16, physicians confirmed that he didn’t need dialysis anymore because the new organ had been functioning well.

“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. 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 humor who was fiercely dedicated to his family, friends, and co-workers,” his relatives stated.

Even though Mr. Slayman had gotten the first pig kidney to be transplanted into a human, it is not the first pig organ to be used in a transplant operation.

Two other people had received pig heart transplants. But, those operations were not successful as the recipients died a few weeks following the procedures.

In one matter, there were indications that the patient’s immune system had rejected the organ, which is a normal occurrence in transplants.

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