Update Mass man who received kidney from pig has died, MGB confirms

Rick Slayman, the first man to receive a kidney transplant from a genetically engineered pig, has died, according to his family and a statement from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he underwent the historic operation in March.

“Our family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our beloved Rick, but deeply comforted to know that he inspired so many,” his family said in a statement released Saturday evening.

The hospital did not say how or when Slayman died. A spokeswoman declined to provide additional information Saturday, citing “privacy issues.”

“We have no indication of that [Slayman’s death] This is as a result of his recent transplant,” the MGH said in a statement.

Slayman, who lived in Weymouth and He worked as a manager of the state transport department, underwent dialysis for several years and received a donated human kidney in 2018, which ultimately failed. MGH doctors transplanted a pig kidney on March 16 and Slayman was released from the hospital on April 3.

Slayman was 62 at the time of the surgery in March.

“Mr. Slayman will forever be seen as a beacon of hope for countless transplant patients around the world, and we are deeply grateful for his faith and desire to advance the field of xenotransplantation,” MGH’s statement said. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Slayman’s family and loved ones as they remember an extraordinary man whose generosity and kindness touched all who knew him.”

When Slayman was released from the hospital, he called it “one of the happiest moments of my life” and said he hoped his story would offer hope to others needing kidney transplants.

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“Rick accomplished that goal and his faith and hope will live on forever,” his family said Saturday. “His legacy will be one that inspires patients, researchers and healthcare professionals everywhere.

In previous experiments pig kidneys were transplanted into the bodies of brain-dead and non-human animals. In the past two years, two men have received genetically modified pig hearts and lived for up to seven weeks.

Slayman’s family also thanked his team of doctors, who “did everything they could to give Rick a second chance.”

“Their tremendous efforts led to the xenotransplant, and our family got seven more weeks with Rick, and our memories of that time will live on in our minds and hearts,” they said.

Second from right, Slayman stands with his doctors.Michael Ross/Massachusetts General Hospital

This story is developing and will be updated.


Nick Stoico can be reached at [email protected].

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