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Patient Who Received Genetically Modified Pig Kidney Transplant Passes Away Within 2 Months

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Rick Slayman, the first patient to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, passed away two months after he received the surgery, according to Massachusetts General Hospital.

In a statement, the Boston hospital expressed deep sadness over Slayman’s sudden passing, emphasizing that his death did not appear to be related to the transplant itself. The 62-year-old had made history in March when surgeons successfully transplanted the genetically edited pig kidney into his body, as he battled end-stage kidney disease.

According to Slayman then, his decision to undergo the experimental procedure was driven by a desire to not only improve his own condition but also to provide hope for countless others awaiting life-saving transplants.

“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 statement read.

Rick Slayman’s family said in a statement that they take comfort in the knowledge that he had inspired countless individuals and provided optimism for those desperately awaiting transplants. The family also thanked the medical team for their efforts, especially in prolonging Rick’s life for an additional seven weeks.

“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,” the family stated. “His legacy will be one that inspires patients, researchers, and health care professionals.”

Organ shortage is still a chronic global issue till date. Massachusetts General Hospital alone reports more than 1,400 patients on its waiting list for a kidney transplant at the time of Slayman’s procedure.

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