Programmer Valery Spiridonov from Vladimir city, located 200 kilometers to the east of Moscow, could become the first person, who’s head will literally ‘move’ to another body. 30-year-old has a rare muscle wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffman disease. He decided to undergo the operation after Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero claimed he could cut someone’s head off and attach it to a healthy body. The exact surgery date is still not determined in case of financial difficulties and medical personnel. Somebody, who is sentenced to death may become Valery's donor. “I hope everything will be fine and not dramatic,” Spiridonov told Metro.
How have you met Dr Canavero?
– I easily found his interview on the Internet about two years ago. For a long time I investigated the topic of this kind of transplants and stayed tuned to all the developments. Canavero solved the fundamental problem of merging the spinal cord neurons to restore control over the body. Having rather sad prospects and a chance to make a contribution to science, if participate, I chose the surgery.
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What is your exact diagnosis?
– Type I spinal muscular atrophy, that is also called Werdnig-Hoffman disease. It has a progressive type and leads to atrophy of the muscles and inability to move.
Is there any specific date of surgery?
– It will be approximately held in 2017. So far we have identified milestones in this great project. The nearest of them is in this summer, in Annapolis, USA. I hope to attend at the neurosurgeon’s conference, that will be held there. All depends on finances.
It will be the first operation of its kind. Are you confused?
– Somebody has to be first. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, certainly, was confused too, but he knew the purpose of his actions. For the sake of science and the future of humanity.
What does your family say?
– I feel their support, moreover, they are always "for" all my undertakings. Even if they do not really approve them.
Have you read ‘Professor Dowell's Head’ (fiction novel by Russian Alexander Belyaev, where similar operation was made)?
– No, I just watched a movie. I hope that in my case everything will be fine and not so dramatic.