May 23, 2024

The world’s first residing recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant has been despatched house from the hospital. 

Rick Slayman was discharged from Massachusetts Normal Hospital Wednesday, simply weeks after his four-hour surgical procedure on March 16.

“This second — leaving the hospital right this moment with one of many cleanest payments of well being I’ve had in a very long time — is one I needed would come for a few years. Now, it is a actuality and one of many happiest moments of my life,” Slayman mentioned in a press launch. 

The 62-year-old had been residing with end-stage kidney illness earlier than his process. He thanked his medical workforce for his or her distinctive care.

“I am excited to renew spending time with my household, pals, and family members free from the burden of dialysis that has affected my high quality of life for a few years. Lastly, I wish to thank anybody who has seen my story and despatched well-wishes, particularly sufferers ready for a kidney transplant. At the moment marks a brand new starting not only for me, however for them, as effectively. My restoration is progressing easily and I ask for privateness at the moment,” Slayman mentioned.

Massachusetts Normal Hospital mentioned the pig kidney was equipped by a pig donor that was genetically edited “to take away dangerous pig genes and add sure human genes to enhance its compatibility with people.” 

Whereas Slayman’s case is the primary involving a pig kidney, there have been two earlier pig coronary heart transplants in residing recipients. Each procedures have been carried out by the College of Maryland — one in 2022 and the second in 2023. The primary recipient died two months after his transplant and the second died a month-and-a-half after. Learnings are being utilized to extend possibilities of survival.

About 16 folks die per day within the U.S. awaiting an organ transplant, in response to Donate Life America.

There are at the moment over 100,000 folks on the organ transplant ready record, says information from Donate Life America. About 86% of sufferers on the record are ready for a kidney.

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