The world was shocked when an Italian neuroscientist Sergio Canavero announced that he would conduct a human head transplant on the 30-year-old Russian, Valery Spiridonov. The date is finally set, and the unbelievable operation is scheduled for December 2017.
The operation is going to be first of its kind in the history of medical sciences that passed on chills along the ears it touched. The procedure faces many challenges like reconnecting the spinal cord, nerves, and blood vessels; however, the most difficult part is sustentation because even with the great advancements in medical science, rejection continues to be a possibility with no guarantee.
The leading team member includes Sergio himself and Xiaoping Ren, who belongs to China’s Harbin Medical University and is well-renowned for his achievements in the field of neurosurgery. He has executed many successful head transplants on mice, in which the test subjects were able to breathe, drink and see as well. Unfortunately, none of his rodent patients survived longer than a couple of minutes.
The patient of the critical story, Valery Spiridonov is suffering from a rare Werdnig-Hoffmann Disease, which damages
motor neurons and all the motor functionalities as a result. Victim’s body is completely paralyzed and in severe cases, the patient is even unable to swallow and breathe. Currently, there’s no cure for this disease and the head transplant is the only hope for Valery, which compelled him to volunteer for the risky surgery, with unknown chances of success.
According to Canavero, there are a lot of calculations to perfecting and they are in no rush, which is why they have delayed the surgery to work out all the details to increase their chances of success. The grueling 36-hour surgery is an outlandish feat and both the Italian and Chinese team of doctors will make sure that they are ready for it.