The first patient to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant dies

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) said there is no link between the death and the operation performed in March.

"Mr. Slayman will forever be seen as a beacon of hope to countless transplant patients worldwide." Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the death of the first patient to receive a genetically modified pig kidney.

Richard Slayman, 62, underwent the groundbreaking operation in March, after being diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease. The hospital reported that "there are no indications" linking the death with the transplant performed two months ago.

After the operation, the hospital stated that the procedure had been a "great milestone" in the search for ways to reduce the global organ shortage. The hospital cited data from the United Network for Organ Sharing and explained that more than 100,000 Americans are waiting for a transplant, most of them kidneys. About 17 of them die every day.

The hope is that using cells, tissues or organs from other species in humans, called "xenotransplantation," will reduce the waiting list to zero.