US man who received first-ever pig kidney transplant dies at 62

US man who received first-ever pig kidney transplant dies at 62

Richard Slayman's Passing

Richard Slayman's Passing

The 62-year-old resident of Massachusetts' Weymouth, Richard Slayman, shot to fame for receiving the world's first genetically modified pig kidney transplant in March, has died. Announcing Slayman's death, the family thanked the doctors and the entire care team at Massachusetts General Hospital, reported ABC News.

Earlier in March, Slayman underwent a successful four-hour surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and was later released in April. However, the reason for his death remains unknown, and the hospital confirmed it was not related to the transplant.

"The Mass General transplant team is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Mr. Rick Slayman. We have no indication that it was the result of his recent transplant," ABC News quoted Massachusetts General Hospital statement.

According to details, Slayman – before receiving the transplant – had battled Type 2 diabetes and hypertension for years. He also relied on dialysis for years before receiving a human kidney transplant in December 2018, which was performed by the same Massachusetts General Hospital team.

However, the transplanted kidney from the human donor showed rejection signs, and he returned to dialysis treatment in 2023.

"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. 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 hospital's statement read.

But in March, Slayman underwent another kidney transplant that arrived from eGenesis, a Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company. It was harvested from a pig genetically modified using CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Massachusetts General Hospital said that they removed incompatible pig genes and introduced specific human genes to enhance compatibility with the recipient's body, but after seven weeks, he died.

What Did Family Say:

Slayman's family expressed their deepest appreciation to the doctors and others at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"Our family is deeply saddened about the sudden passing of our beloved Rick but take great comfort knowing he inspired so many. Millions of people worldwide have come to know Rick's story. We felt - and still feel - comforted by the optimism he provided patients desperately waiting for a transplant."

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