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First Man To Get Pig Kidney Transplant Dies

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First Man To Get Pig Kidney Transplant Dies

The first individual to receive a genetically engineered pig kidney transplant died two months after the procedure.

Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, died on Sunday, May 12, at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where the surgery was performed in March.

They stated that there was no evidence that his death was the result of the transplant.

Other organ transplants from genetically engineered pigs had previously failed, but the procedure on Mr Slayman, who had end-stage renal illness, was hailed as a watershed moment.

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 certified that he no longer required dialysis because the replacement organ was found 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 said in a statement.

Read Also: Patient Who Received Pig Heart In Groundbreaking Transplant Is Dead

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 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.

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.

A Gentle Reminder: Every obstacle is a stepping stone, every morning; a chance to go again, and those little steps take you closer to your dream.

Nnamdi Okoli

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