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‪Richard Slayman, US Man Who Became First Recipient Of Pig Kidney, Dies 2 Months After Transplant‬

Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, had the transplant in March at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States, and the surgeons expressed the conviction that the pig kidney would last at least two years.

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The first patient transplanted with a genetically modified pig kidney died almost two months after undergoing the procedure, the family and the hospital that performed the surgery announced on Saturday.

Richard “Rick” Slayman, 62, had the transplant in March at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States, and the surgeons expressed the conviction that the pig kidney would last at least two years.

The Massachusetts General Hospital transplant team says in a statement that they are deeply saddened by Slayman’s death and expressed condolences to his family.

The surgeons said they had no indication that Slayman had died as a result of the transplant.

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“Rick” Slayman was the first living person to undergo this surgery. Previously, pig kidneys had been temporarily transplanted into brain-dead donors.

Slayman had had a kidney transplant in the hospital in 2018, but had to return to dialysis last year, when the kidney showed signs of failure.

When dialysis complications arose that required frequent procedures, doctors suggested a pig kidney transplant.

In a statement, Slayman’s family thanked the doctors for “their enormous efforts” to make the xenotransplantation that made it possible to have “seven more weeks with Rick” and that “the memories created during that time will remain”.

The family also says that Slayman underwent surgery in part to give hope to the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive.

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Xenotransplantation consists of treating human patients with animal cells, tissues or organs. These efforts failed for a long time because the human immune system immediately destroyed the foreign animal tissue, says the AP, advising that there have been recent attempts involving pigs that have been modified so that their organs are more similar to humans.

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