Meet The Man Who Will Undergo The World’s First FULL HEAD Transplant

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Valeri Spiridonov, 30, a computer scientist from Russia who suffers from a rare genetic muscle-wasting disease, is set to become the first person to undergo a head transplant in 2016. The new body for Valeri would come from a ‘healthy’ brain-dead donor. The cost of the 36-hour operation, which could only be performed in one of the world’s most advanced operating theaters, needing a team of 150 doctors and nurses, has been estimated at £7.5million.

Italian surgeon Dr Sergio Canavero, who claims he can cut off his head and attach it to a healthy body, has named the procedure HEAVEN, an acronym for head anastomosis venture. In this procedure, both donor and patient would have their head severed from their spinal cord using an ultra-sharp blade. The patient’s head would then be placed onto the donor’s body and attached using what Canavero calls his ‘magic ingredient’ – a glue-like substance called polyethylene glycol – to fuse the two ends of the spinal cord together. The muscles and blood supply would be stitched up, before the patient is put into a coma for four weeks to stop them from moving while the head and body heal together.

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Valeri has compared the controversial procedure to the space race of the post-war years. “In the end it is like with astronauts. Before the first man we sent into space, 300 different scenarios of something going wrong were thought through but when he actually did it, it was the 301st scenario that happened,” he told The Daily Mail.

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“Am I afraid? Yes, of course I am. But it is not just very scary, but also very interesting. But you have to understand that I don’t really have many choices. If I don’t try this chance my fate will be very sad. With every year my state is getting worse,” he added.

Critics say Dr Canavero’s plans are ‘pure fantasy’. Canavero has been compared to the fictional gothic-horror character Dr Frankenstein. Arthur Caplan, the director of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre, has described Dr Canavero as ‘nuts’.


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32 COMMENTS

  1. How incredibly brave. Imagine what this could do for so many people. Even if it fails, the daring to try is admirable and just brings us closer to this becoming a reality.

    • I wonder if this story is even true. One person commented on the courage required. When you have an incurable disease, it requires less than you think. I was told there was a considerably higher than average chance I would not survive my heart surgery, but a 100% chance I would die without it. I don’t recall feeling very courageous by making the only decision possible. Do it and maybe die, or don’t do it and certainly die.

  2. I think this is unbelievable but amazing all the same, if that makes sense!! Can’t wait to hear if this goes ahead, good luck young man xxx

    • And where and when did you attend med school? What field? Oh ok… you don’t have a degree in medicine? Shut up with the negative!

    • Death for the body yes (but the mind?). But what does death mean? Even the body can live for moments after your heart stops.

    • Not always. Many people have broken theirspines and lived its just very painful and sometimes they become paralyzed. SOMETIMES.

    • plenty of people have survived spinal breaks and they have proven the mind still functions up to 5 minutes after beheading its not impossible but highly improbable the shock on the body and speed in which the procedure would have to be done there is no room for error but if successful it would open up a lot of possibilities in medical science

  3. Wow. Very brave of him and the surgeon!
    So is he still going to be him or the other person?like how would that work? Would he still have his own thoughts,memories?

    • Of course. Memories, personality, etc., those constructs exist solely in the brain.

      If they took your brain out of your body and put it in a jar, then everything that makes you “you” will be in that jar.

  4. I guess the saying “giving head” has a whole new meaning now…?

  5. If this type of surgery were possible in just two years, I should think that doctors would have been able to repair other nerves by now. I dislocated my knee, which severed my peroneal nerve. If doctors are really this close to attaching a head to a foreign body, attaching the two foreign spinal columns and the thousands of other nerves, and claim that this person will be able to feel, walk, talk, breathe, etc., then why couldn’t something as simple as a nerve in my knee be fixed?

    This just doesn’t seem logically feasible. Nerves are too tricky in one’s own body, let alone trying to connect two of them, not to mention that nerves do not regenerate. I really wish they would. I would love to have feeling and control back in my leg.

    • They’ve transplanted legs before, the only known way to actually heal nerves would be with stem cells so you can still hope. 🙂

      • They have done hand transplants where the patient was eventually able, after much physical therapy, to gain full motor and sensory control over the donor hand.

        That means they already have the nerves figured out, at least to a degree.

  6. Awesome, no matter what anyone says, this has to be tried eventually. This is the logical progression of science and medicine.

  7. Hopefully this works out, you never know if you never try. but I don’t think he will be able to feel things and walk, I do think it’s possible for him to be alive after the surgery.

  8. I don’t believe this is even a reality. ..there is absolutely no way in the world this can be done at this time in history!

  9. not just scary… now wondering how many dying famous ppl would pay to get a fresh body to continue livin on. i dont think its fair and i dont think that should happen, the god create us the way we r and we should accept that. and no one has the right to change the god creation.

  10. Obviously this patient is so unhappy with his physical persona, that he is willing to take part in an experimental procedure. An experimental procedure that has never been done before and may very likely not have a good outcome. There is no room for error. Best wishes to this man and the 150 doctors and nurses that will take part in this surgery. If there is a good outcome, this will mean huge advances in medicine all over the world. Just the idea of this head transplant will lead to more advances.

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