Rick Slayman, Recipient Of First Pig Kidney Transplant, Dead At 62


Dana Abizaid Contributor
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A Massachusetts man who received the world’s first pig kidney transplant has died at 62, WBZ reported Sunday.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital performed the successful transplant on Rick Slayman on March 21, 2024, according to WBZ.

Slayman, who was discharged from the hospital two weeks after the surgery to recover at home, received a pig kidney which was genetically altered to be more adaptable to humans, WBZ reported. (RELATED: Human Receives First Transplant Of ‘Genetically-Edited Pig Kidney’)

Massachusetts General Hospital announced Slayman’s death Saturday in a statement which emphasized his death was not related to the transplant, according to the outlet.

“The Mass General transplant team is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Mr. Rick Slayman,” the statement read. “We have no indication that it was the result of his recent transplant. 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.”

Slayman, who reportedly suffered from hypertension and Type 2 diabetes for many years, was a candidate for the pig kidney in 2024 when a human kidney transplant he received in 2018 began to fail, according to WBZ.

Slayman’s family released a statement remembering him as an inspiration for people around the world, according to the outlet.

“Our family is deeply saddened about the sudden passing of our beloved Rick but take great comfort knowing he inspired so many,” the family said. “Millions of people worldwide have come to know Rick’s story. We felt — and still feel — comforted by the optimism he provided patients desperately waiting for a transplant.”

“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. Rick accomplished that goal and his hope and optimism will endure forever,” the family added.

Slayman’s family requested privacy in the wake of his death, WBZ reported.