First Pig Kidney Transplant Patient Dies At 62

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Nurses in the accident and emergency dept of Selly Oak Hospital work during a busy shift on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, industry, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Nurses in the accident and emergency dept of Selly Oak Hospital work during a busy shift on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

OAN’s Lindsey Adams
1:45 PM – Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Doctors say the death of the first-ever patient to successfully receive a pig kidney transplant is not related to the operation. However, he died only two months after the surgery.

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On Monday, medical specialists could not say for certain what led to Rick Slayman’s passing.

While they say investigations into his death will continue, they believe his cause of death is linked to an underlying comorbidity.

Most likely, they believe that there was a cardiovascular event.

Doctors had seen Slayman the day of his passing to run tests.

“We saw him in clinic on the day that that he ended up passing. And so, we had evidence that his blood tests and urine tests showed that the kidney was working, was working well,” medical director of kidney transplantation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Leonardo Riella said.

Slayman was 62-years-old and had undergone the four-hour surgery in March. The surgery was hailed by the hospital as “a major stride toward enhancing organ accessibility.”

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