Man Who Received Genetically-Engineered Pig Kidney Transplant Dies Two Months Later

The first human to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, has died almost two months after the procedure.

62-year-old Richard Slayman, who had end-stage kidney disease, had the transplant in March at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The hospital said in a statement that there was “no indication” that his death was the result of the transplant. 

“The Mass General transplant team is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Mr. Rick Slayman,” the hospital said. “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.”

The transplant of organs from one species to another is intended to be a way to alleviate the organ shortage for people who need transplants.

Slayman’s family said he was kind, quick-witted, and “fiercely dedicated to his family, friends, and co-workers.”

“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,” they continued. “Rick accomplished that goal and his hope and optimism will endure forever.”