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First Living Patient to Receive Genetically Modified Pig Kidney Dead at 62, Weeks After Historic Tra

Accepted submission by upstart at 2024-05-12 12:37:03

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First living patient to receive genetically modified pig kidney dead at 62, weeks after historic transplant []:

The first living patient to receive a kidney from a genetically modified pig [] has died, two months after the groundbreaking transplant, his family and doctors announced Saturday.

Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, was sent home in March [], two weeks after undergoing the transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“Their enormous efforts leading the xenotransplant gave our family seven more weeks with Rick, and our memories made during that time will remain in our minds and hearts,” his family said in a statement of the practice of healing human patients with animal cells, tissues or organs.

Slayman, of Boston suburb Weymouth, said he underwent the daring procedure [] after suffering ongoing dialysis complications, which saw him hospitalized every two weeks.

“I saw it not only as a way to help me, but a way to provide hope for the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive,” he said in a statement at the time.

“Rick accomplished that goal, and his hope and optimism will endure forever,” his family said Saturday.

The transplant team at Mass General said it had “no indication that it was the result of his recent transplant.”

“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,” the facility said, according to NBC Boston [].

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Slayman’s family and loved ones as they remember an extraordinary person whose generosity and kindness touched all who knew him.”

The historic kidney procedure was the second for Slayman, who had end-stage kidney disease and suffered from Type 2 diabetes for years. He had his first transplant — from a human donor — in 2018, after being on dialysis for seven years.

He was optimistic when he left the hospital after the historic operation.

“This moment — leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest bills of health I’ve had in a long time — is one I wished would come for many years. Now, it’s a reality and one of the happiest moments of my life,” Slayman said in a statement [].

Before Slayman, pig kidneys had only been tested on brain-dead donors, while two men who received pig hearts both died within months.

The efforts often fail because the human immune system would destroy the foreign animal tissue, and recent procedures like Slayman’s use organs from pigs that have been altered to be more human-like.

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