WORLD’S FIRST HEAD TRANSPLANT COULD BE COMING SOON!
31 year old Valery Spiridonov, a terminally ill man, could possibly become the first person to undergo a human head transplant. And possibly as early as next year!
Valery suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman’s Disease. This is a rare form of spinal muscular atrophy. It causes muscle degeneration, as well as problems chewing, swallowing and breathing.
Valery, who has stated that he realizes the procedure is ‘incredibly risky,’ has volunteered for the groundbreaking procedure. He says ‘ he is willing to undergo the 36 plus hours of surgery in the hopes of improving his own quality of life, and for the contribution to the potential medical breakthrough. “My motivation is about improving my life conditions and to get to the stage where I will be able to take care of myself and be independent of other people,” Valery told interviewers. He added that his condition ‘is pretty heavy.’ He cannot take care of himself nor can he walk. He needs constant assistance.
RISKY AND EXPENSIVE
The operation, which will cost slightly more than 11 million dollars, will take 150 medical staff members and 36 hours to complete. This procedure has never been attempted on a human before and scientists have only had limited success when done on animals.
Dr Hillary Jones, who is not involved in the operation, states that, if Valery survives the procedure, he could end up with some real problems. He could be paralyzed. Or, the ‘donor body’ could reject his head. And he would need a respirator, because the nerves that make his heart beat and his lungs breathe, would no longer be connected.
Italian Doctor, Sergio Canavero, the neurosurgeon who will be leading the procedure, thinks a bit differently.
The procedure will be carried out by neurosurgeons in China and led by Dr Canavero. All of the surgeons involved estimate that there’s a 90% chance of survival.
If successful, doctors predict that Valery would be able to speak, in his own voice, after regaining consciousness and that he very possibly could be walking within one year of the event.
Chinese Doctor, Xiao-Ping Ren, who is performing the head transplant operation alongside Dr Canavery, has carried out head transplants on more than 1,000 mice. However, none to date have survived.
credit – metro.co.uk