Who Was Richard ‘Rick’ Slayman? Weymouth Man, First Recipient Of Pig Kidney Transplant, Dies – Times Now

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Richard Slayman

World’s First Recipient of Pig Kidney

Photo : Twitter

Weymouth, Massachusetts resident Richard Slayman recently made headlines throughout the world for his participation in a ground-breaking medical treatment. On March 16, Slayman, 62, had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital to receive the first successful transplant of a genetically altered pig kidney in history. The kidney was a part of a novel technique in xenotransplantation, which is the transplanting of organs across different species. It underwent 69 genetic alterations.

The difficulties Slayman faced in controlling his Type 2 diabetes and hypertension over a number of years finally resulted in end-stage renal failure. Temporary respite was achieved with his first kidney transplant from a deceased human donor in December 2018. However, indicators of failure appeared about five years later, and in May 2023, he had to return to dialysis, reported WCVB.

Slayman’s quality of life was severely compromised by repeated dialysis vascular access difficulties, which led to the exploration of alternate treatment alternatives, WCVB wrote.

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His medical staff at Massachusetts General Hospital carefully outlined the dangers and advantages of the experimental pig kidney transplant before suggesting it to him, realizing the limitations of traditional therapy.

“The Mass General transplant team is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Mr. Rick Slayman,” the MGH statement reads. “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. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Slayman’s family and loved ones as they remember an extraordinary person whose generosity and kindness touched all who knew him.”

WCVB wrote that through the FDA Expanded Access Protocol method, Slayman was able to receive novel therapy choices that would not have been available to him otherwise. The pig kidney was genetically modified to improve compatibility with human patients. It was obtained from eGenesis located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To reduce the possibility of infection, steps were made to deactivate pig endogenous retroviruses.

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