The first patient to receive a kidney transplanted from a genetically modified pig has fared so well that he was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, just two weeks after the groundbreaking surgery.

The transplant and its encouraging outcome represent a remarkable moment in medicine, scientists say, possibly heralding an era of cross-species organ transplantation.

Two previous organ transplants from genetically modified pigs failed. Both patients received hearts, and both died a few weeks later. In one patient, there were signs that the immune system had rejected the organ, a constant risk.

But the kidney transplanted into Richard Slayman, 62, is producing urine, removing waste products from the blood, balancing the body’s fluids and carrying out other key functions, according to his doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“This moment — leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest bills of health I’ve had in a long time — is one I wished would come for many years,” he said in a statement issued by the hospital. “Now it’s a reality.”

He said he had received “exceptional care” and thanked his physicians and nurses, as well as the well-wishers who reached out to him, including kidney patients who were waiting for an organ.


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