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Richard “Rick” Slyman, who made history at the age of 62 as the first person to receive a kidney from a genetically modified pig, died two months after the procedure.

Mr. Slaman was operated on at Massachusetts General Hospital by A press release On Saturday, the transplant team was “deeply saddened” by his death. “There is no indication that it was the result of a recent transplant,” the hospital said.

Mr. Slaman, who was black, had end-stage kidney disease, which affects more than 800,000 people in the United States, the federal government said. Unreasonably high rates Among the black people.

There are very few kidneys available for donation. About 90,000 people are on it National watch list For the kidneys.

Mr. Slyman, a state Department of Transportation supervisor from Weymouth, Mass., received a human kidney in 2018. In the fall of 2023 And he had a heart attack, the doctors suggested that he try one of the improved pigs.

In the news of the hospital, he said: “Not only to help me, but also to give hope to thousands of people who need a transplant to survive.” Release In March.

The four-hour operation was a medical milestone. For decades, proponents of so-called xenotransplantation have proposed transplanting diseased human organs from animals. The main problem with the approach is the human immune system, which does not accept the animal tissue as foreign, often leading to serious complications.

Recent advances in genetic engineering have enabled researchers to tailor the genes of animal organs to their receptors.

The pig kidney transplanted to Mr. Slyman was engineered by a biotech company in Cambridge, Mass. Scientists removed three genes and added seven others to improve compatibility. The company has discovered retroviruses that pigs carry that can harm humans.

“He was a true pioneer for Mr. Sleiman,” said eGenesis in a press release on social media on Saturday. “His courage helped pave the way forward for current and future kidney failure patients.”

Mr. Slaman was released from the hospital two weeks after the operation with “one of the cleanest bills of health I’ve had in a long time,” he said at the time.

In a statement published by the hospital, Mr Salaman’s family said he was kind, quick-witted and “devoted to his family, friends and colleagues”. They said they found great comfort in knowing that his case had inspired so many people.

“Millions of people around the world know Rick’s story,” he said in a statement. We felt – and still do – the optimism he gave to patients waiting for a transplant.