Pig kidney transplant done by US surgeons saved Rick Slayman life

(Image credit: Massachusetts General Hospital)

Flight Path

A 62-year-old man is doing well after getting kidney transplant from a pig that was specially modified to make it less likely for the body to reject it.

Doctors in the US are calling him brave for being part of this new kind of surgery. The big idea is to be able to use animal organs for more transplants.

The surgery happened on March 16 and it's a big step forward in making more organs available for people who need them.

This man, Rick Slayman, had a human kidney transplant in 2018, but it stopped working five years later.

His doctors said he didn't have many options because his blood vessels were too worn out from dialysis.

He decided to try the pig kidney because he thought it might help him and also give hope to others who need transplants to stay alive.

There aren't enough human organs for everyone who needs them, so using animal organs could be a solution. Pigsare a good size match for people and their organs can be changed to be safer for humans.

The pig kidney used in the surgery was provided by a company called eGenesis. They made sure it was safe for humans by removing some pig genes and adding some human ones.

Rick Slayman still has to take medicine to prevent his body from rejecting the new kidney, and nobody knows for sure how long it will keep working.

Dr Tatsuo Kawai who worked on the transplant hopes that this method can help millions of people around the world who suffer from kidney failure.

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