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UPDATE: First Living Patient To Receive Genetically-Modified Pig Kidney Transplant Has Passed Away

The first patient to receive a genetically-modified pig kidney transplant, a 62-year-old man living with end-stage kidney disease, has passed away.

“Richard ‘Rick’ Slayman had the transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital in March,” the Associated Press stated.

Slayman died nearly two months after undergoing the procedure.

Surgeons believed the pig kidney would last for at least two years.

From the Associated Press:

The transplant team at Massachusetts General Hospital said in a statement it was deeply saddened by Slayman’s passing and offered condolences to his family. They said they didn’t have any indication that he died as a result of the transplant.

The Weymouth, Massachusetts, man was the first living person to have the procedure. Previously, pig kidneys had been temporarily transplanted into brain-dead donors. Two men received heart transplants from pigs, although both died within months.

Slayman had a kidney transplant at the hospital in 2018, but he had to go back on dialysis last year when it showed signs of failure. When dialysis complications arose requiring frequent procedures, his doctors suggested a pig kidney transplant.

“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,” Slayman’s family said in a statement thanking the doctors.

CBS News reports:

The kidney was genetically altered to remove pig genes and add in human ones that would help improve its capability.

Massachusetts General Hospital announced Slayman’s passing on Saturday, around two months after he received the transplant. The hospital also emphasized there is no indication his death was a result of 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. 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,” Massachusetts General Hospital said in a statement.

Slayman had been living with hypertension and Type 2 diabetes for several years. He received a human kidney transplant in 2018, but five years later, it began to fail.

In a statement, Slayman’s family remembered him as an inspiration for many worldwide.

“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. 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,” Slayman’s family said in a statement.

“After his transplant, 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. His legacy will be one that inspires patients, researchers, and health care professionals everywhere,” Slayman’s family said.

This is a Guest Post from our friends over at 100 Percent Fed Up.

View the original article here.


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