Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

A-1221 Katie Kars Friedman Case Summary, Patient 145

Long-time Alcor member, Katia (Katie) Kars Friedman, A-1221, was pronounced in Phoenix, Arizona on March 15th, 2016 and cryopreserved the same day. Katie, a neurocryopreservation member, is Alcor’s 145th patient.

Katie had been on our Watch List since 2009 but recently suffered significant trauma and a closed head injury from a fall, just two days after her 98th birthday. She was relocated to the Scottsdale area by air ambulance as she was not expected to survive. An initial standby was launched but was discontinued as she improved from critical to recovery mode. Over the next three months, she continued to make progress while under the care of numerous hospitals and care facilities, but multiple infections eventually became too much to overcome.

Once in the area, Katie was moved to an in-patient hospice facility where her end-of-life care was carefully monitored by Alcor. The hospice informed us that her expected death would automatically become a Medical Examiner’s case and be subject to an autopsy, due to her closed head injury. After discussions with the ME’s office yielded no possibility of a waiver, we reached out to the hospice physician to identify an alternate solution. All of Katie’s medical records from the last 3 months were gathered and supplied to the physician and a case was built to suggest that her mental capacities had returned to baseline, through her recovery, thus bypassing the head-injury rule. After careful review, the physician agreed with our assessment and stated that he would remove the requirement for autopsy.

A standby was reinitiated at the hospice. With team members in the patient’s room, cardiac arrest was witnessed and her pronouncement occurred two minutes later. Immediate stabilization and cooling commenced prior to the approximately 20 minute drive to Alcor, where the surgical team was ready and waiting. The patient’s nasal pharyngeal temperature was 15.6º C upon arrival and there was no delay in beginning neuro separation, cannulation, and cryoprotective perfusion. Initial indications suggest she received a high-quality perfusion, lasting 3.75 hours. The full case report will include results of a CT scan.

A-1700, Case Summary, Patient 144

Due to privacy restrictions that Alcor Life Extension Foundation respects, we can provide only minimal details in this case summary.

On January 25, 2016, Alcor was notified by the friend of an Alcor member that the member had been pronounced legally dead the previous day in Massachusetts after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. The member had specified that Alcor should cryopreserve “any part of the brain possible”. Unable to receive details from the family, Alcor deployed Medical Response Director, Aaron Drake, to recover the member by the binding authority of the member’s legal documents for cryopreservation before possible autopsy or cremation might occur.

After some delays locating the member without information from the family, cooling to dry ice temperature began on January 27 followed by subsequent transport to Alcor and cooling to liquid nitrogen temperature for long-term storage. With the assistance of Alcor’s legal counsel in sensitively communicating the member’s wishes to the family in their time of grief, a final viewing by the family was possible before dry ice cooling began.

A-2889 Mark Lee Miller, Case Summary, Patient 143

Mark Lee Miller, Alcor member A-2889, lived in Costa Mesa, California and suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Mark, aged 61, served eight years in the Army and worked for the FBI in Orange County for 33 years. On December 31, 2015 at approximately 22:58 PST, Mr Miller suffered a sudden non-witnessed cardiac arrest. Although family members were near his bedside, they were unsure of the actual time when the member took his final breath. He was pronounced legally deceased in Costa Mesa, California at 23:55 PST (00:55 in Arizona) by the hospice nurse who had been called to the home by the family. Miller, a whole body member, became Alcor’s 143rd patient on December 31, 2015.

Mr Miller had planned to relocate close to Alcor to enter into hospice. Unfortunately, he declined more rapidly than expected, eliminating any opportunity to fly to Scottsdale. Alcor asked Suspended Animation to visit his home to evaluate his condition in an effort to determine deployment strategies. At this time he had good oxygenation by mask. Nevertheless, Mr Miller arrested a few hours following the visit, December 31, 2015. This unexpectedly rapid decline led to a delay before cooling and stabilization could commence by SA. A field washout was carried out in California.

On arrival at the location of field washout, the patient’s nasopharyngeal temperature was 15.0 degC. When the SA team arrived at Alcor at 11:45 PST/12:45 MST on January 1, nasopharyngeal temperature was 5.4 degC. Cryoprotection was concluded about five hours later and cool down to long-term storage begun. A CT scan was conducted at a later date. More information will be forthcoming in a case report, including the CT data.

–Max More