First Recipient Of Genetically-Modified Pig Kidney Passes Away Two Months Post-Transplant

Richard “Rick” Slayman the first individual to receive a genetically-modified pig kidney transplant died nearly two months after the pioneering surgery his family and the hospital that performed the procedure announced. Slayman who was 62 years old at the time of the transplant underwent the surgery in late March at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Slayman had previously received a human kidney transplant in 2018 but when that kidney began to fail last year he agreed to undergo a transplant with a pig kidney. “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” Slayman’s family said in a statement. “Rick accomplished that goal and his hope and optimism will endure forever.”

The family described Slayman’s legacy as one that “inspires patients researchers and health care professionals everywhere” and requested privacy as they remember “the beautiful soul of our beloved Rick.”

Massachusetts General Hospital stated that there is no indication Slayman’s death was the result of his March procedure. “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” the hospital said.

Slayman’s death comes nearly two months after he made history as the first person to receive a genetically-modified pig kidney transplant. His willingness to undergo the experimental procedure has been praised as a significant step forward in the field of xenotransplantation which aims to address the shortage of human organs available for transplantation by using organs from other species.

While the cause of Slayman’s death has not been directly linked to the pig kidney transplant his case highlights the need for continued research and monitoring of patients who undergo such experimental procedures. As scientists and medical professionals work to advance this field Slayman’s legacy will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration and reminder of the potential benefits and risks associated with xenotransplantation.