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US man dies two months after receiving first-ever pig kidney transplant

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Richard Slayman, a Massachusetts man who had undergone the world’s first successful pig kidney transplant, passed away at the age of 62 on Saturday just two months after the groundbreaking procedure.

The pig kidney had undergone 69 genomic edits before being transplanted into Slayman’s body, as part of a procedure called xenotransplantation, The US Sun reported.

He was released from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, on April 6, a few weeks after receiving the surgery.

However, at this time, there is no evidence pointing to his death being related to the transplant, according to a statement by the hospital’s transplant team.

“The Mass General transplant team is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Rick Slayman. We have no indication that it was the result of his recent transplant,” the statement read.

“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.”

According to a report by The US Sun, Slayman had a complicated medical history and the genetically modified pig kidney was his last resort.

Right before he was set to leave the hospital, Slayman had an organ rejection scare, but being a common form of rejection, doctors were able to quickly address it.

After three days on a high dose of steroids, the rejection stabilised, as did the kidney, and Slayman was soon released.


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