Some may say that Valery Spiridonov is crazy for being a willing volunteer for the world’s first head transplant operation, but if you asked him, he’d say he didn’t have any other choice.
The 30-year-old Russian was born with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a Genetic muscle-wasting disorder that has left him seriously disabled since birth. Every year his condition worsens and the computer scientist wants a chance at a healthy body before he dies.
In a recent interview he explained, “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’, he said. ‘If I don’t try this chance my fate will be very sad. With every year my state is getting worse…I 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”
The procedure is called HEAVEN – an acronym that stands for head anastomosis venture – and Italian doctor Sergio Canavero claims he can cut Spiridonov’s head and attach it to a healthy body.
While the two have never met in person – and Canavero has yet to look over the 30-year-old’s medical records – the two have discussed the operation over Skype several times. According to Dr Canavero, all the necessary techniques already exist to transplant a head onto a donor body.
According to the Daily Mail, the procedure is (expectedly) nuts:
Both donor and patient would have their head severed from their spinal cord at the same time, using an ultra-sharp blade to give a clean cut.
The patient’s head would then be placed onto the donor’s body and attached using what Canavero calls his ‘magic ingredient’ – a glue-like substance called polyethylene glycol – to fuse the two ends of the spinal cord together.
The muscles and blood supply would be stitched up, before the patient is put into a coma for four weeks to stop them from moving while the head and body heal together.
When they wake the patient should be able to move, feel their face and even speak with the same voice. Powerful immunosuppressant drugs should stop the new body from being rejected.
While that all sounds amazing and it would be so f*cking cool if this actually worked, we would never voluntarily let someone decapitate our heads. That’s just common sense.
[H/T: Daily Mail]