Head Transplant: Valery Spiridonov Volunteers To Be First Head Transplant Patient
Russian Valery Spiridonov has volunteered to be the first head transplant patient. He is flying to the United States later this week to meet with neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero. The meeting will be the first between the potential patient and the surgeon who intends to give him a new body.
Valery Spiridonov is slated to make an appearance at an Annapolis medical conference with the Italian neurosurgeon. Sergio Canavero reportedly hopes that the pair can convince the medical establishment that his head transplant techniques are “on the brink of viability.”
A top Russian surgeon has reportedly deemed the idea of the $15 million head transplant “reckless.” The Moscow doctor also maintained the neurosurgeon, dubbed by many as Dr. Frankenstein, is not anywhere near ready to initiate the complex and potentially fatal head transplant surgery.
Velery Spiridonov has suffered Werdnig-Hoffman disease for three decades. The disease reportedly causes the Spiridonov to suffer from severe muscle weakness that can prompt problems moving, eating, breathing, and swallowing. Individuals with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, also known as spinal muscular atrophy, often die within the first few years of life. Spiridonov is among the 10 percent of sufferers who survive into adulthood.
He has stated publicly that while he is well aware of the risk involved with going under the knife for a head transplant, he still wants to be the first patient to attempt the controversial procedure.
“I am flying to New York and then will go to Annapolis to take part in the scientific conference with the surgeon Sergio Canavero,” Spiridonov said during an interview with the Daily Mail.
“We will be together on stage. It will be a joint presentation. I will speak for myself. I do hope that my trip and my participation in this conference will help to push the idea of this surgery, to persuade the medical world and to make sure we have support from the scientific community.”
The head transplant volunteer also stated the he hopes he will possess a physically fit body within the next two years.
“I am not in a hurry to be operated on, but if all goes according to our plan, the surgery will take place in two years from now, sometime in 2017,” the Russian volunteer added.
“The place of the surgery will very much depend on how this conference goes. Preferably, the operation would be done in the USA. I am not rushing to go under the surgeon’s knife, I am not shouting — come and save me here and now. Yes, I do have a disease which often leads to death, but my first role in this project is not that of a patient. First of all, I am a scientist, I am an engineer, and I am keen to persuade people — medical professionals — that such operation is necessary. I am not going crazy here and rushing to cut off my head, believe me.”
Over the course of the next several years, the neurosurgeon is hoping to conduct additional experiments with animals on dead bodies, according to the man who volunteered to be the first head transplant patient.
Do you think a head transplant surgery is likely in the near future?