A while ago we reported on how a doctor named Sergio Canavero was planning on performing the first human head transplant in two years and he’s one step closer to his ambition following the man you see above volunteering to be the guinea pig in the operation.
His name is Valery Spiridonov and he suffers from a rare muscle wasting disease called Werdnig Hoffman disease. It basically causes a progressive weakness of the lower motor neutrons leaving you unable to walk or use any parts of your body really. Basically, it completely sucks and every year Valery’s condition gets worse until he will die, so he feels like he doesn’t have any other options than to try for the head transplant:
My decision is final and I do not plan to change my mind.
Am I afraid? Yes of course I am. But it is not just very scary, but also very interesting.
But you have to understand that I don’t really have many choices. If I don’t try this chance, my fate will be very sad. With every year my state is getting worseI can hardly control my body now.
I need help every day, every minute. I am now 30 years old, although people rarely live to more than 20 with this disease.
It’s a brave decision that should be respected, especially when the science is so uncertain and it could go completely and utterly wrong. The procedure has obviously never been performed before, but it was attempted on a monkey in China in the 1950s but the monkey died after rejecting its new body. There’s also a worry from medical experts that the different chemicals and pathways within the body would overwhelm the head causing the subject to experience a fate worse than death as they went completely and utterly insane.
Dark, but nobody is going to know what happens until someone tries it. Canavero hopes to complete the operation in 2017 and expects to be assisted by 150 doctors during it. It essentially involves cutting off the subjects head and reattaching it to another spine with extra strong glue. The subject is then placed in a coma fro four weeks to ensure the body isn’t rejected.
That doesn’t sound too hot to me but here’s hoping it works.