In July, a last minute case was accepted, with the patient being a Canadian individual with a will stating he wished to be cryopreserved by Alcor and directing his estate to pay the bill. The Board chose to accept this case because of the clear statement of the individual’s wishes and because the funding was available. The estate’s executor prepared legal documentation, and he attempted to arrange the funds transfer while we concentrated on the preservation.
The patient, A-2309, was straight-frozen, because his unexpected death and the time delays in getting his body to Arizona from Canada, which placed him beyond the point where vitrification was possible. We instrumented the patient for acoustic monitoring and collected fracturing data on this case. The first fractures appeared, naturally, at higher than normal temperatures and will become interesting as we collect more information on any future, similar cases.
On the aspect of being paid for the case, the executor resigned his post in frustration after attempting to deal with the bank, and we have retained counsel to advise us on how to proceed.
During the past month, we also cryopreserved a member’s cat that died suddenly. We had been making arrangements to cryoprotect the animal, but those plans failed when the kitty died suddenly.
The Bigfoot-1 repair continues. This dewar was once was our bulk storage reservoir before it failed, and the repair was not entirely up to our standards, due to water being trapped inside the shell. Hugh Hixon has pumped down the vacuum in the dewar for more than 1,500 hours, reaching the temperature of 210 degrees C, in our attempt to remove the water collected in the system. Vacuum pressure was at 7 microns, as of Wednesday; and the plan is to see if the dewar will now hold a vacuum. We’ll disconnect the vacuum pump once the pressure has been stable for at least two weeks and then perform another fill test to see if the problem has been resolved.
Further organizing of the facility is also in progress. Regina Pancake and Randal Fry have been taking the initiative on this, and we look forward to greater order in the near future.
During the past month, I distributed copies of the wealth preservation trust to select members. We were most interested in sending it to members with relevant legal experience or those who have worked personally with attorneys to set up trusts of their own. I’ve received no comments on the draft yet, either from those members, their lawyers, or the attorney assisting us with the trust development. I will follow up on this shortly as well.
We are continuing to assist with the probate proceedings for patient A-1097. Renovations of the property bequeathed to Alcor are complete, and we have sent the paperwork necessary to listing the property for sale to the executor of the estate. We will be invoicing the estate for the renovations, with the expectation that these costs will be reimbursed early in the probate process.
The first of the reimbursement checks for the Reeves theft has arrived, the amount matching what the judge required. Initially, these checks will be split between operations and the endowment, until the operations portion is completely reimbursed, and then the full amount will be periodically transferred to the endowment.
Recently, I gave a presentation at the World Transhumanist Association conference in Chicago. Though this event was more sparsely attended than we’d hoped, the audience is certainly one of the more educated ones on cryonics. My talk was primarily on the engineering development we’ve done lately, which is a slight departure from my usual talk; but many of those folks had contributed to our whole-body vitrification matching grant. I felt updating them on our progress was important to maintaining the support of that community. I received more compliments on that talk than I ever have before, so I’m going to remember that blunt speak occasionally works. We anticipate several members and more conference attendees will result from our participation.
We filmed an episode of Modern Marvels, a History Channel program, which is focusing on innovative uses of cold. Overall, it went fairly well. The crew was excited to be able to film the transfer of patient A-2309 from the cool-down dewar to the long-term care dewar. It was a rainy day, so there was much fog to be seen. This episode is expected to air on September 25, 2007, but we will keep people posted if the date changes.
Report submitted by Tanya Jones.