Full head transplant – level 3
The Russian man set to become the first person to undergo a full head transplant says he’s ready to risk it all for science. Valery Spiridonov is terminally ill and says he wants to help make the first ever human head transplant surgery happen.
The computer scientist lives in the city of Vladimir near Moscow and suffers from a rare form of spinal muscular disease that causes severe muscle weakness. Life expectancy for his type is low with few sufferers reaching adolescence or young adulthood. At thirty years old, he says his condition is rapidly deteriorating.
“I’m being honest about my chances. I understand that this kind of surgery may be a very good chance for me to continue my life further. And if worst comes to the worst – in case it doesn’t happen – I will know that we’ve created a large amount of data after the surgery that will help future doctors to make such things successful.”
The surgery is the idea of Italian neurosurgeon doctor Dr. Sergio Canavero who says he is already preparing for the controversial operation. It’s hoped the groundbreaking surgery will happen within two years.
The procedure would see the volunteer’s head being attached to the body of a donor through spinal cord fusion. It’s an operation which will require a team of more than a hundred medical workers and could take 36 hours to complete. Estimated to cost around $10 million pounds, it would take place in either China or the US.
Difficult words: to risk it all (to risk your life), terminally (terminal illness causes death), deteriorate (to get worse), if worst comes to the worst (if the worst thing that can happen does happen), controversial (causing a lot of disagreement), groundbreaking (revolutionary), volunteer (a person who does something because they want to), donor (somebody who gives the body).
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