Grandma who got first pig kidney transplant and mechanical heart has d!ed

Grandmother who received world's first pig kidney and mechanical heart transplant has died

A grandmother who was the first to receive a combined pig kidney and mechanical heart pump transplant has died three months after the groundbreaking pair of surgeries.

Lisa Pisano underwent both surgeries successfully in April and appeared to be recovering, but her health deteriorated and she died on Sunday, July 7, her surgeon announced.

Doctors had to remove the pig's kidney 47 days after the procedures because heart medications had damaged the organ.

Pisano was put back on dialysis and continued to use the heart pump, but was eventually admitted to a psychiatric hospital, NYU Langone transplant surgeon Dr. Robert Montgomery said Tuesday, July 9.

“Lisa helped us move closer to realizing a future where someone doesn’t have to die for someone else to live,” Montgomery said. “She will forever be remembered for her courage and good nature.”

Pisano, of New Jersey, had end-stage kidney disease and heart failure when he received the genetically modified pig kidney and heart pump at a hospital in New York.

“All I want is the opportunity to have a better life,” she said at the time.

“My doctors thought there might be a chance I could be approved to receive a gene-edited pig kidney, so I spoke to my family and my husband. He has been by my side throughout this ordeal and wants me to get better.”

Pisano was not a good candidate for a kidney and heart transplant because there is a shortage of human organ donations and she had other chronic health problems.

In April, Pisano, 54, said she knew the pig kidney might not work, but that she “just took a chance.”

“Worst case scenario, if it didn’t work for me, it might have worked for someone else,” she said at the time.

Pisano is the second person to receive a kidney from a gene-edited pig, following Richard Slayman, who received the organ at Massachusetts General Hospital in March.

Slayman died in early May, nearly two months after surgery, from a pre-existing heart condition and not from the transplant, according to his doctor.

Both surgeries aimed to find a viable alternative to donated human organs amidst the severe shortage.


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