World’s first pig kidney transplant patient dies weeks after surgery

111

The recipient of the world’s first pig kidney transplant, Rick Slayman, has sadly passed away nearly two months after undergoing the groundbreaking procedure.

Massachusetts General Hospital made history in March by performing the transplant, implanting a genetically modified pig kidney into Slayman, a 62-year-old individual grappling with end-stage kidney disease.

While hailed as a significant achievement in xenotransplantation—a field exploring organ transplantation between different species—Slayman’s death was confirmed to be unrelated to the transplant, according to the hospital.

In a statement released by his family, they expressed profound sadness at Rick’s sudden passing but found solace in his inspirational legacy.

Acknowledging the tireless efforts of the medical team, the family praised their dedication, which granted them seven precious weeks with Rick. They reflected on the cherished memories created during this time, forever in their hearts.

The pig kidney used in the transplant underwent genetic modifications to enhance compatibility with humans, including removing harmful pig genes and incorporating specific human genes. Additionally, porcine endogenous retroviruses were deactivated to eliminate potential human infection risks.

While mourning Slayman’s loss, Massachusetts General Hospital reiterated that his passing was not attributed to the transplant. They honoured Rick as a symbol of hope for countless transplant patients worldwide, expressing gratitude for his unwavering trust and contributions to advancing the field of xenotransplantation.