Black Man Recovering After Receiving World’s First Pig Kidney Transplant

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A Black man who became the first-ever recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant has been discharged from the hospital.

Rick Slayman, 62, underwent the world’s first pig kidney transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital on March 16. Since the four-hour surgery, Slayman has been recovering in the hospital. He was sent home on Wednesday (April 3), WMAR reports.

“This moment — leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest bills of health I’ve had in a long time — is one I wished would come for many years. Now, it’s a reality and one of the happiest moments of my life,” Slayman said in a statement.

Before the transplant, Slayman was diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease.

“I’m excited to resume spending time with my family, friends, and loved ones free from the burden of dialysis that has affected my quality of life for many years. Lastly, I want to thank anyone who has seen my story and sent well-wishes, especially patients waiting for a kidney transplant. Today marks a new beginning not just for me, but for them, as well. My recovery is progressing smoothly and I ask for privacy at this time,” Slayman said.

The pig kidney was supplied by a pig donor that was genetically modified “to remove harmful pig genes and add certain human genes to improve its compatibility with humans,” Massachusetts General Hospital said.

Pig organs have been previously used for two heart transplants. The procedures were performed at the University of Maryland in 2022 and 2023. The 2022 recipient died two months after his pig heart transplant, and the second died 1.5 months after their procedure.

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