First person with pig kidney dies

Henry

The first patient to receive a genetically modified pig kidney has died, the American hospital that performed the procedure said.

“Mass General is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Rick Slayman. There is no sign that this is the result of his recent transplant,” the Boston hospital said in a statement on Saturday.

It was the first time that surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital implanted a genetically modified pig kidney in a 62-year-old man. He had kidney failure among members. The four-hour operation was carried out in March.

“Slayman will forever be regarded as the beacon of hope for countless transplant patients worldwide who are extremely grateful for his trust and willingness to advance the field of xenotransplantation,” the statement read.

Shortages of organs are a big problem worldwide. The Boston hospital said in March that there were more than 1,400 patients on its waiting list for a kidney transplant.

The pig kidney used for the transplant was provided by a biotech company called eGenesis in Massachusetts. It has been modified to remove harmful pig genes and add certain human genes, the hospital said.

Slayman had type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. He received a human kidney in 2018, but it stopped working five years later.