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Person who has undergone a genetically modified pig kidney transplant dies almost two months after the operation

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Richard “Rick” Slayman, the first recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, has died nearly two months after undergoing the groundbreaking procedure, according to statements from his family and Massachusetts General Hospital, where the surgery took place.

Slayman, 62, underwent the historic transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital in March, with surgeons expressing optimism that the pig kidney would provide him with functional support for at least two years.

In a statement released Saturday, the transplant team at Massachusetts General Hospital expressed deep sadness over Slayman’s passing and extended their sincere condolences to his family. They emphasized that they had not indicated that his death was directly related to the transplant procedure.

The first recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant dies nearly two months after undergoing the procedure.

Hailing from Weymouth, Massachusetts, Slayman made medical history as the first living individual to undergo this groundbreaking transplant.

Previously, pig kidneys were temporarily transplanted into brain-dead donors. In addition, two men had undergone pig heart transplants, but unfortunately both had succumbed within months of the operations.

Slayman had previously undergone a kidney transplant at the same hospital in 2018. However, complications arose last year, leading to signs of kidney failure and necessitating his return to dialysis.

When further complications from dialysis occurred, requiring frequent medical interventions, his medical team proposed the innovative approach of a pig kidney transplant.