Alabama Doctors Successfully Transplant Pig Kidneys Into 57-Year-Old Man in Groundbreaking Surgery
James Parsons had already been declared brain dead before the operation was conducted, so there was never any expectation that he would come out of the hospital. His children say he would have been glad to have been part of the milestone surgery.
Just one week after a man with heart failure was given a genetically modified pig heart comes news of another medical milestone, as doctors transplanted pig kidneys into a human body.
The patient was identified as 57-year-old James Parsons, who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident last September.
Surgeons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham transplanted the genetically modified kidneys from a pig into Parsons.
“They told us that there was this new groundbreaking surgery,” Parsons’ daughter Ally said.
“I don't think we were freaked out at all. We just knew that our dad would definitely want to be part of something like that and he would definitely be honored,” she said.
Parsons had already been declared brain dead before the operation was conducted, so there was never any expectation that he would ever come out of the hospital.
But the groundbreaking pig's kidney surgery could spell hope for as many as 90,000 Americans on waiting lists for a new kidney.
“It really begins to open the door of a potential unlimited supply for kidneys that can affect the lives of Americans and citizens across the world,” Dr. Selwyn Vickers said.
Technically, the surgery was a success and the pig kidneys functioned. But three days later, the doctors took James Parsons off life support.
“He would love to know that he’s still helping people after his death,” Parsons’ son said.
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