It would have been the craziest (and some say the most exciting!) transplant ever but the volunteer to the world’s first head transplant has changed his mind, canceling the surgery after falling in love!
Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero, dubbed as ‘Dr. Frankenstein’, had long announced the possibility of a head transplant. If successful, the surgery would theoretically give a new lease on life for the person who would undergo the head transplant; though this raised concerns whether the person’s consciousness and soul would also move to the new body, along with the head.
The plan had been met with a lot of criticism and ethical concerns but Canavero just laughed at them, especially when someone volunteered to undergo the head transplant.
Russian programmer Valery Spiridonov readily volunteered for the surgery but though he was willing to undergo the procedure ASAP, the project was met with a lot of stumbling blocks.
Spiridonov suffers from a medical condition called spinal muscular atrophy and is wheelchair-bound for life. Patients with this condition have low life expectancy. For Spiridonov, he’s really got nothing to lose if he undergoes the surgery. If anything goes wrong, he wouldn’t really mind because he doesn’t expect to live long, anyway.
He was set to undergo the transplant sometime in December 2017 but the surgery schedule kept getting changed due to a number of problems.
First, Russia and most countries rejected the idea; they would not allow Canavero to perform the surgery or use a body that would be matched with Spiridonov’s head. Only Vietnam, South Korea, and China gave the go-signal.
But though it was possible to find a body in these countries without facing legal problems since they promise to provide support for the breakthrough surgery, such will lead to more complications. A Russian head with an Asian body would not only look weird, it would also pose various problems because Asians have different skin, different sweat glands, and less hair.
For the surgery to be a success, it would need a body with the same race as Spiridonov.
As the dates kept getting moved, Spiridonov continued to work with Canavero until he met the woman of his dreams.
Spiridonov fell in love with Anastasia Panfilova – and they would soon get married! It was totally unexpected but it was the best thing that happened to Spiridonov’s life. The two recently welcomed a son and announced that the kid did not inherit Spiridonov’s condition; that was a relief, of course.
But having a wife and son not only changed his life, it also change his mind about the transplant. After all, it might actually be possible that the surgery might not be a success.
He now wants to spend more time with his family, hoping that his life would be much longer than expected in his condition.
Though he no longer wants to undergo the transplant, Spiridonov remains hopeful that Canavero would achieve the feat. The success of such a surgery would truly be impressive and Spiridonov is willing to support Canavero all the way – but he’s sure that he would not be the one that’s going to get that new body…