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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Science: A Thai parents cryonically freeze their 3 year old daughter in hopes she may live again

If all goes according to plan, a little Thai girl nicknamed Einz who is now dead will some day read this sentence. That plan, however, requires incredible faith in technological advancements. Elinz's body has been cremated and all that remains is her head - which is now filled with medical-grade antifreeze and stored in a vault in Arizona.

Einz, whose formal name is Matheryn Naovaratpong, died from an aggressive strain of brain cancer on January 8th n Bangkok. She was nearly 3 years old.

Two Alcor representatives one a retired neurosurgeon were on standby to perform a "field cryoprotection," which involved injecting her with medical-grade antifreeze and lowering her body temperature to around 80 degrees Celsius below zero.

The family didn't just observe this graphic procedure. They participated. "The (neurosurgeon) said, 'Anyone who wants to go should go now,'" says Dararat. "All of us stayed. They said, 'Really? You're not afraid?'"

Einz's father at her bedside shorty before she passed
Minutes after Einz's death, the family was helping place their daughter inside the temperature-controlled, futuristic coffin they'd constructed in the family's own factory.

Einz's head was not separated from her body until it reached the foundation's facilities in Arizona. Transporting corpses is somewhat common; ferrying severed heads tends to draw suspicion from customs agents. "If you send only a head, you may run into problems," Sahatorn says. "The officer at the X-ray machine may say, 'Oh no, a human head!"

Her death would have unfolded as a private tragedy had her parents not made a profound choice. They decided that Einz would become the youngest human and one of very few Asians to undergo cryonic preservation.

"We believe death can be overcome in the future," says Sahatorn, the girl's 41-year-old father. "Human beings are seeing technology increasing exponentially. It just doubles, doubles, doubles. If our computer systems proceed like this, they'll double their abilities minute by minute. That would allow us to solve the world's biggest problems."

This sentiment will be familiar to anyone versed in the theory of the "Singularity," a postulated era of dazzling possibility that adherents believe will be ushered in by explosive scientific breakthroughs in the coming decades.
This belief in exponential scientific achievement, steadily gaining adherents in the West, is embraced by Einz's parents. Both Sahatorn and his wife, Nareerat, hold doctorates in electronics engineering. And both share the view — as do believers in the Singularity — that mortality is a problem science can fix.

That faith compelled the grieving engineers to build a capsule for their recently deceased daughter that could regulate her body's temperature during the long shipment to the U.S. (There are no cryonic facilities in Asia.) Einz was collected by the U.S.-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the world's largest cryonics operation. The non-profit foundation charges $80,000 to "neuropreserve" a human's brain.

The goal, as worded by Alcor, is to "save lives by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today's medicine might be preserved for decades or centuries

Both of Einz's parents intend to cryo-preserve their bodies. But if the odds of Einz's revival are slim, the odds that all three can be successfully revived and reunited are even slimmer.

"Honestly, it will be hard to see her again," Sahatorn says. "The probability is very low."
Einz's parents also hold out hope that life extension breakthroughs will keep them alive long enough to witness their daughter's revival. "If I don't die in the next 30 years, maybe we'll meet again," he says, "That's how long it might take for science to figure out how to rejuvenate an old man and extend his life."

The Huffington Post

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