How far would you go for love?
Grieving Chinese husband Gui Junpin just set new benchmarks for true love when he decided to preserve his deceased wife’s body cryonically. In the hope that one day she would be revived and cured.
While his ailing and cancer-stricken wife underwent chemotherapy, Gui Junpin applied for the cryonic procedure (with her consent), by donating her body to Shandong University Qilu Hospital, legally qualifying her to undergo the 55-hour experimental procedure at Yinfeng Biological Group center in Shandong Province, China.
On May 8, 2017, Zhan “died” of lung cancer. Less than five minutes after Zhan Wenlian’s heart stopped beating and she was declared clinically dead, the procedure began.
According to AsiaOne, Aaron Drake of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, based in the United States, and medical experts from Shandong University’s Qilu Hospital in Jinan, immediately put Zhan on a life support system, including nutrition and cardiopulmonary support.
Zhan’s body was then sent by ambulance to a lab at an institute affiliated with the company. Her body was injected with chemicals designed to protect her cells from being damaged during the freezing process.
What is cryogenics?
Cryogenics (or cryonics) involves preserving an ailing body at extremely low temperatures. From May 10, Zhan’s full body has been stored at Yinfeng in a 2,000 litre tank of liquid nitrogen, where she is kept at temperatures of -196° C.
She is the first person to have her full body cryogenically frozen in China.
Kong Fei, member of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, has been quoted by AsiaOne as saying, “Gui said he would like to try, although he knew it was not possible to revive his wife in the near future.
“I think his love for his wife was the biggest factor in his making the decision.
“The body is expected to be stored for at least several decades, and we may evaluate the body’s condition after a certain period of time, and revive her if possible in the future.
“It depends on technological development in the field. I do not see any possibility for revival in the immediate future.”
Cryogenics and future revival
Apparently, the procedure is extremely expensive, and also requires an additional 50,000 yuan ($7,502) a year for upkeep. All fees are paid through a fund established by Yinfeng.
Many have been skeptical about the procedure, however. Chen Jingyu, vice-president of Wuxi People’s Hospital in Jiangsu province and a prominent expert in lung transplants, says that once a person’s heart has stopped beating and he is not breathing, he is usually considered brain dead.
He has been quoted by AsiaOne as saying, “It is not possible to bring a person who is considered brain dead back to life.”
Dr. James Bedford, a psychology professor at the University of California, was the first person to ever be cryonically preserved. He even left money for the procedure in his will!
In 2015, two-year-old Thai girl Matheryn Naovaratpong, became the youngest person to be cryogenically frozen. The little child had lost her life to brain cancer, and her parents, both medical engineers, decided to preserve her brain cryonically.
Is cryogenic preservation a case of optimism gone too far? Or will rapid advances in medical science put the naysayers to shame?
Only time will tell.
Image: Science and Technology Daily
More Info: sg.theasianparent.com