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Recipient of Genetically Edited Pig Kidney Discharged from Hospital

Boston: Rick Slayman, the recipient of the world’s first transplanted genetically edited pig kidney at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), has been discharged from the hospital after making a remarkable recovery. The 62-year-old returned home, a day after his discharge, marking a significant milestone in medical history.

In a statement, Slayman expressed gratitude for the care he received and described his discharge as a “new beginning” for himself and the medical team involved in the groundbreaking surgery. He emphasized that his recovery has been progressing smoothly and thanked the doctors, including Dr. Williams, Dr. Riella, and Dr. Kawai, along with the dedicated nurses who attended to him during his hospital stay.

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

Slayman, who had been battling end-stage kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension, underwent the groundbreaking surgery on March 16, following the failure of a previously transplanted human kidney. The four-hour procedure offered hope for Slayman, whose dialysis treatments had become ineffective.

Dr. Winfred Williams, Associate Chair of MGH Nephrology Division, reflected on Slayman’s journey, noting his determination to seek a solution despite the challenges he faced. “He was completely exhausted at the failures that he was experiencing in dialysis,” said Dr. Williams. “But he also said, ‘I’m hoping that it can do some good for me.’ And I knew that if it did work, it would restore his quality of life.”

The genetically edited pig kidney, developed by eGenesis of Cambridge, Massachusetts, underwent 69 genomic edits using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to enhance its compatibility with humans by removing harmful pig genes and incorporating certain human genes.


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