Rick Slayman, the world’s first living recipient of a genetically edited pig kidney transplant, has been discharged from the hospital.
CNN reports that Slayman was discharged on Wednesday, two weeks after his operation, according to a statement by Massachusetts General Hospital.
“He is recovering well and will continue to recuperate at home with his family,” the hospital wrote on X.
Slayman was quoted in the statement issued by the hospital, saying: “This moment leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest bills of health I’ve had in a long time is one I wish would come for many years. Now, it’s a reality and one of the happiest moments of my life.”
Recall that Slayman, a 62-year-old manager with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, had previously said his doctors suggested that he try a pig kidney when he was diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease last year.
His doctors stated last month that they thought Slayman’s new kidney could last years but also acknowledged that there are many unknowns in animal-to-human transplants.
Slayman’s surgery is the third such xenotransplant of a pig organ into a living human.
The first two transplants were hearts transplanted into living patients who had run out of other transplant options.
The organs were transplanted under special rules that permit compassionate use of experimental therapies for patients in especially dire situations. However, both patients died weeks after receiving their organs.
Slayman said he was grateful for the response to his surgery, especially from other patients who are waiting for a kidney transplant.
“Today marks a new beginning, not just for me but for them as well,” Slayman said.