The outlook was bleak from the start – the disease has a five-year survival rate of 30 per cent.To make matters worse, Matheryn – known to her family as Einz – had fallen into a coma.
After a months of intensive treatment, including 12 rounds of brain surgery, 20 chemotherapy treatments, and 20 radiation therapy sessions, it became clear there was little more doctors could do.
She died on January 8th this year after her parents switched off her life support machine. By the time she passed away, she had lost 80 per cent of the left side of her brain – essentially paralysing the right side of her body.
But determined for some good to come from her death, her family have had her body cryogenically preserved – by one of the biggest providers of this service in the world.
Matheryn is currently at the Arizona-based Alcor, her brain and body frozen separately at 196C.
Her family’s main – although many would argue, far fetched – hope is that one day, science will have progressed enough to restore life to her.
Alternatively, her parents want the cells from her brain and other parts of her body to be saved, so the disease that killed her can be studied in the future. Aside from the huge number of ‘what ifs’, there is the cost.
‘Membership’ to Alcor costs $770 a year – plus a rather more hefty $80,000 for a ‘neuro’ (the procedure Matheryn had) or £200,000 to have a full body frozen.
Alcor is also where the bodies of famous baseball player Ted Williams, as well as his son John Henry Williams, are stored.
‘It [the freezing] provides the opportunity for Matheryn to breathe again when the technology is provided and appropriate for her disease,’ said her father, who found out about the cryopreservation firm on the internet.
But as a family of doctors, they are hopeful, rather than unrealistically optimistic.
And as Matheryn’s doctor pointed out: ‘Her life was made possible by modern science in the first place – she was carried by a surrogate because her mother had lost her uterus birthing a son.’
The family also feels there are ‘still considerable frontiers left to be examined when it comes to medicine and human physiology.’They didn’t want their daughter’s life to end in vain,’ Aaron Drake, Alcor’s medical response director told Motherboard.
‘They’re hoping that by preserving the tissue cells of this particular cancer, they can come up with a better treatment plan, and maybe even eventually cure it. If you look at the global picture of what they’re trying to accomplish, it’s very altruistic.’
But the process of cryogenically freezing the toddler wasn’t just an emotional rollercoaster, but a logistical one, too.
In an ideal world, she would have been flown to Arizona.But Matheryn’s health was so poor and when she ended up on a ventilator, air travel became impossible.
Instead, a doctor from Alcor flew to Thailand and, as soon as she was pronounced dead – at 6.18pm on that January evening – preservation of her body began.
Usually, the brain would be removed from the body and then frozen. But customs and repatriation issues to the US meant it was easier, according to Mr Drake, to undertake cryoprotective perfusion of Matheryn’s brain in Thailand.
‘The team decided to do so without separating her brain from the rest of the body,’ he said.
The procedure ‘involves moving the patient onto an ice bed, coating her in freezing materials and artificially restarting the heart with a “heart-lung-resuscitator”.
Over a dozen different medications are administered before blood is drained from the body and replaced with medical-grade antifreeze,.
The chest cavity is then opened to attach the major blood vessels to a machine that flushes out all remaining blood, then slowly lowering the body’s temperature, at a rate of 1˚ Celsius every hour.
After two weeks, the body reaches deep cryofreeze at -196˚ C.
Matheryn underwent a procedure called a ‘neuro’. This is where the the brain is removed and stored, rather than the whole body.
It is now sitting in a stainless steel, vacuum-insulated container in Arizona filled with liquid nitrogen at -196˚C.
But the question still remains as to how – if science did eventually progress enough – any frozen body would actually be revived.
‘We know we can regenerate a small organ, and grow a new heart,’ said Mr Drake.
‘We know we can 3-dimensionally print cells and hearts. So at some point we would need to regenerate her entire body, or at least her organs, and put it all together.
‘Then we’d need to transplant that brain into a new body.’ However a growing number of people are showing interest in the pioneering technology. ‘Our market is growing,’ Mr Drake told Motherboard’s Brian Merchant.
‘The younger generation is more accustomed to seeing changes in technology. Any thing you can come up with, six months later, there’s an app for it.
‘The younger generation sees this and thinks ‘sure why not’? – they can figure everything else out, so why not this? They feel this is kind of an inevitable thing.’
And for Matheryn’s family, it provides peace of mind and gives them some solace from the tragedy of her death. ‘At least, we devoted her life and body for the progress and development of science,’ said her mother, Nareerat.
‘This is also another treat for our family, we know that she’s alive although we have been separated.’
Source: Daily Mail
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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils – 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV).
“Power and signs and lying wonders”…rejection of truth, and for this “God shall send them a strong delusion that they shall believe a lie” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 (KJV). Satan, has already set the stage for deception – he teaches today the lie of the immortal soul. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:…”and ye shall be as gods” -Genesis 3:4-5 (KJV). And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever – Genesis 3:22 (KJV).
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment -Hebrews 9:27 (KJV).
“..keep that which is avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:20-21 KJV).
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it – Luke 17:33 (KJV).
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee -Leviticus 19:19 (KJV).