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Recipient of world’s first pig kidney transplant discharged from Boston hospital

    Posted by on April 4, 2024,

Recipient of world’s first pig kidney transplant discharged from Boston hospital

The recipient of the world’s first pig kidney transplant is out of the hospital after a medical milestone. 

Richard Slayman, a 62-year-old Weymouth man, received the world’s first genetically edited pig kidney transplant. He’s now recovering at home with his family. 

Slayman was discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital about two weeks after the successful transplant.

“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,” Slayman said in a statement. “Now, it’s a reality and one of the happiest moments of my life.” 

“It was such a joyful day for all of us,” Dr. Leonardo Riella, the hospital’s medical director for kidney transplantation, told NBC10 Boston. 

He says this gives hope to thousands of patients in need. 

“Unfortunately, there are not enough kidneys out there,” he said. “This would be a huge hope for them to receive a kidney in a timely manner before they get too sick to actually get a kidney transplant — which is the best treatment for kidney disease.”

Slayman had a kidney transplant in 2018 but had to go back on dialysis last year when it showed signs of failure. 

“We were confident that we may create a new opportunity for patients,” Dr Riella said. “It could be seen as a bridge, meaning that this transplant will get them and keep them healthy until they get a human kidney, or even, in the future, that this will be a permanent solution.” 

One of the transplant surgeons on the team believes the pig kidney will work for at least two years. 

Riella says doctors will follow up with Slayman twice a week with blood tests to monitor his new kidney. 

“This just gives us so much joy, because ultimately, this is what we wanted to do, is give him back the life that he used to have and provide him with a quality of life that he deserves,” Riella said.

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