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Pioneering Pig Kidney Transplant Recipient Richard Slayman Passes Away

Richard Slayman, aged 62, the first person to ever receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, has passed away two months following the groundbreaking operation. Massachusetts General Hospital, where the transplant was performed, announced his death, clarifying that it was not directly linked to the transplant.

In March, Slayman underwent this experimental procedure due to his battle with end-stage kidney disease. This historical operation marked a significant advancement in the field of xenotransplantation, which involves transplanting organs or tissues between different species. The success of the surgery was initially promising, as Slayman’s new kidney functioned well, eliminating his need for dialysis.

Health Challenges and Historical Context

Prior to this procedure, Slayman had been a systems manager for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and was undergoing dialysis three times a week. His health issues were compounded by Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Notably, in 2018, Slayman had a human kidney transplant that began to fail after five years, leading him to opt for this novel solution.

Despite the risks, the transplant in March was successful, with Slayman walking within a few days of the surgery and being released from the hospital on April 3. His recovery seemed promising and was a beacon of hope for many facing similar challenges.

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