The distraught parents of a two-year-old cancer sufferer have frozen their daughter in the hopes that science will one day be able to revive her and allow her to live a healthy life.
The Thai toddler was diagnosed with Ependymoma – a slow-growing cancer with a five-year survival rate of just 30 per cent. Matheryn was rushed into surgery on April 14 2014.
Surgeons at the Bangkok hospital bored into the skull to relieve the increased pressure on the brain. Half of the Ependymoma tumour was then removed. Matheryn awoke from her coma a week after the surgery.
Young Matheryn lost 80 per cent of the left hemisphere of her brain over the course of these invasive procedures.
This resulted in the right side of her body becoming paralysed by November 2014.
“We had to prepare to say goodbye… said the parents
“Among family and relatives, we played and held her before we relieved her from the life support system, released her heavy load off her shoulder at 18:18.”
Matheryn died on January 8 2015 after her parents made the decision to switch off her life support.
The toddler underwent some 12 operations on her brain
“The family learned about Alcor on the internet,” Marji Kilma, the mother said
Alcor surgeons prepare a patient to be cryogenically frozen
“To see a frozen head in a box might have raised a number of red flags. In the US that’s not a big deal, but there, they may not be accustomed.
“After the US Embassy in Thailand approved the shipment, the container was topped off with dry ice and shipped by airline to LAX for customs approval.”
During the procedure, the patient is laid on an ice bed – coating the body in freezing materials before restarting the heart with a ‘heart-lung-resuscitator’.
More than a dozen different medications are administered before the cryopatient’s blood is drained from the body.
Surgeons then fill the veins with medical-grade antifreeze – replacing the drained blood.
Then the body’s temperature is gradually lowered by 1C every hour.
It takes two weeks for the patient to reach -196C.
Matheryn’s parents have reportedly since signed up to Alcor as members, so that they can be revived with their daughter and “breathe again when the technology is provided”.