The Alabama Kidney Foundation Responds To A Pig Kidney Transplanted Into A Living Patient For The First Time


The future of kidney transplantation as we know it is permanently altered.

On Saturday, Massachusetts General Hospital successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a living human for the first time.

Today, eGenesis, the company that delivered the genetically altered pig kidney, informed WAAY 31 that the 62-year-old patient is doing well.

The Alabama Kidney Foundation is pleased that those on dialysis may soon have another alternative.

According to the foundation, Alabama has the highest per capita rate of dialysis patients in the United States, with 14,000 Alabamians now undergoing treatment.

The Alabama Kidney Foundation provides financial help, education, and support to thousands of low-income dialysis patients across the state.

Nikki Balthazar of the foundation expects that medical breakthroughs in Boston may soon benefit patients suffering from renal illness in Alabama.

“There are thousands of people that are waiting for a kidney transplant so this new development could really really change thousands of people’s lives especially right here in our community,” Balthazar went on to say, “we are waiting just to see what the outcome is going to be and how the long term effects will really impact us,” Balthazar went on to say.

Melissa Hall was astonished when she learned the operation in Boston had been successful.

Hall has Systemic Lupus, a condition in which her immune system destroys healthy tissues and organs.

She lost both of her kidneys when she was fourteen.

Hall visits a dialysis center three times a week for three and a half hours at a time, just to survive.

Hall believes that this new medical innovation will benefit many people who are waiting for a transplant.

“It’s such a huge advancement that we can take a pig’s kidney and put it into a human being and it works,” Hall went on. “I mean if a kidney works, what’s to say a heart or a lung wouldn’t work either,” Hall went on to explain.

“There are so many people out there who need organ transplants and we don’t have enough donors,” Hall said in a statement.

According to Balthazar of the Alabama Kidney Foundation, this medical discovery has the potential to benefit a large number of patients throughout Alabama.

“I believe this is going to be a great alternative for them to look into and could really change everything for so many people that’s been waiting for so many years,” Balthazar said in a statement.

Hearing about Boston’s achievement hits close to home for Balthazar. Her father is currently undergoing dialysis, and her grandfather died from kidney disease.

Both Balthazar and Hall believe that this medical breakthrough will give those who are waiting for a new kidney hope.

“It can just change so many people’s lives so we are very excited to see what could really be the outcome of this,” Balthazar was quoted as saying.

Both women believe that the successful pig kidney transplant has shed attention on how many people suffer from renal disease.

They are optimistic about the future of xenotransplantation and eager to learn what other organs can be successfully implanted in the future.

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