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U.S man who received the first pig kidney transplant is dead

U.S man who received the first pig kidney transplant is dead

The recipient of the world’s first transplanted pig kidney, Rick Slayman, has passed away nearly two months after undergoing the groundbreaking procedure. Massachusetts General Hospital conducted the historic transplant in March, implanting a genetically-edited pig kidney into the 62-year-old man who was suffering from end-stage kidney disease.

The operation marked a significant milestone in xenotransplantation, offering a potential solution to the global organ shortage crisis, as stated by the hospital at the time of the transplant. However, Mr. Slayman’s death was reportedly unrelated to the transplant, according to hospital reports.

In a statement released on Sunday, Mr. Slayman’s family expressed deep sadness over his sudden passing but also acknowledged the inspiration he provided to many. They extended gratitude to the medical team for their tireless efforts in caring for him and facilitating the xenotransplant, which granted them seven additional weeks with their loved one.

The pig kidney used in the transplant underwent genetic editing to remove harmful pig genes and incorporate specific human genes, enhancing its compatibility with human recipients. Additionally, porcine endogenous retroviruses in the pig donor were deactivated to eliminate any potential infection risk in humans.

Massachusetts General Hospital expressed profound sadness at Mr. Slayman’s death, emphasizing that there was no indication linking it to the recent transplant. They hailed Mr. Slayman as a symbol of hope for transplant patients worldwide and expressed deep appreciation for his willingness to contribute to advancing the field of xenotransplantation.


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