Alex Arevalo, a public, neuro member, was pronounced on October 20, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona and became Alcor’s 153rd patient the same day.
Alcor received an emergency text on October 20th just before 10:00 (all times are Mountain Time in 24-hour format). We were alerted that Alex Arevalo was suffering from a stroke. He had a previous stroke in January of 2017. Contact was made with Peggy, his wife. She stated he was unable to speak or to move his right hand, and suffered from right-sided facial droop. They were currently located in Las Cruces, NM and he was being transported to the closest stroke center in Tucson, AZ.
Josh Lado, Director of Medical Response, was traveling to Tucson that morning on personal business. He traveled to the hospital to which Alex had been flown and made contact with the attending physician in the Emergency Department. She stated that they had performed a CT scan and she didn’t believe that the patient’s brain was receiving any significant blood flow. The patient had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at the brain stem. Josh called Alcor’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Harris to inform him and determine the best course of action.
Dr. Harris and Josh agreed that the patient should be taken off ventilation immediately to allow legal death by cardiopulmonary criteria to occur. He was extubated at 13:50. Josh called Dr. Harris and the decision was made not to perform any cryoprotectant perfusion once the patient was at Alcor and to perform a straight freeze. This decision was made because of the inability to perfuse the brain due to the hemorrhagic stroke and associated warm ischemia that had already occurred, and the chance that added pressure would cause more damage inside the patient’s brain.
Alex’s vital signs significantly changed at 18:57 as his heart rate decreased, rhythm changes occurred, blood pressure spiked, and oxygen levels dropped significantly. Legal death was declared at 19:18. Alex had ice placed around the head and neck and preparations began for transport. Once paperwork was finished, hospital staff helped move the patient to the transport vehicle and assisted in moving him into the Ziegler case.
Four bags of ice were placed in the case to precool the metal box. 35 pounds of ice was added around his entire body. This was to ensure the ice wouldn’t melt by the first stop just outside of Tucson. The patient left the hospital at 20:11 to head back to Alcor. The first stop to check for ice was at 20:36, and five pounds of ice was added. The second stop was at 21:33 and 5 more pounds were added. The reason for making two stops for ice was the limited space around the head for ice, between the wadded body bag corners and the case having 45 degree corners at head and foot. There was plenty of ice but Josh wanted to ensure continued cooling. The patient arrived at Alcor just after 22:30. Surgery was performed for neuro separation and cool down began right away.
New case report published on a case that took place on February 22, 2017. A-2998 Full report.
At the 2017 Annual Meeting, cryopreservation minimums were left unchanged, remaining at the levels set in 2011. These minimums remain:
Neuro: $80,000 (or $100,000 to receive a waiver of the $180/year Comprehensive Member Standby fee).
Whole Body: $200,000 (or $220,000 to receive a waiver of the $180/year CMS fee).
Here are the results of the elections at the Alcor Annual Meeting on September 16, 2017:
All directors were unanimously re-elected:
Ralph Merkle, Ph.D.
Mike O’Neal, Ph.D.
Michael Riskin, Ph.D., CPA
Michael Seidl, Ph.D., J.D.
Brian Wowk, Ph.D.
President: Max More was re-relected unanimously.
CFO/treasurer: Michael Perry was re-relected unanimously.
Secretary: Michael Perry was re-relected unanimously.
The 2017 Alcor Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday September 16, 2017, starting at 11:30 am (MST) at the Alcor facility (7895 East Acoma Drive in Scottsdale, AZ). The elections of directors and officers will be conducted at this meeting and a wide range of topic will be discussed publicly both before and after a lunch break. Members and the public are encouraged to attend this meeting. The 2017 Strategic Meeting is also scheduled the same weekend, including Friday and Sunday sessions. Some sessions are closed but a summary of the topics discussed at the 2017 Strategic Meeting will be posted to our blog and newsletter.
Please note: The start time of the public meeting may change. It is set to end around 4:00 pm, but again that could change. Please check back here for updates. If you cannot attend in person, you can use our teleconference system to call in using just audio or audio and video. Send a request to
We’re very proud of our patient care bay, but of course we think about a future in which many thousands of patients are under our care. Turns out there are others thinking about this same future, and so you might enjoy this article on Timeship, an ambitious project intended to be a Noah’s Ark to get cryonicists to the future.
You’ve seen our reports on memory retention after cryopreservation of C. elegans, but now we’re seeing other examples of successful cryopreservations on small, living organisms. The most recent is this report on the successful cryopreservation and thawing of zebra fish embryos. While it’s not obvious that the flash freezing process involved would be relevant on an object the size of the human brain, it’s still an interesting milestone and deserving of future study.
What is that? Win a contest, get cryopreserved? Yep, as a promotion for their new show, The Orville is holding a contest where the grand prize is a lifetime membership to a certain cryonics organization that we all know, and a partial prepayment towards the preservation itself. If you’d like to enter, here’s the link. It’s reminiscent of a similar essay contest features in Omni Magazine many years ago.
There won’t be much new in this article to people who have thought about cryonics a lot. However, it’s worth once every few months getting that reminder that there’s a broader world of non-cryonicists out there, and some of them, when they learn about the idea of cryonics for the first time, don’t reflexively retreat to why death is a positive, but instead open their mind and find the idea very interesting.
I’ve longed argued that just as any rational person signs up for health insurance when they become an adult, similarly any rational person should be signing up for cryonics, as just one of those sensible things that adults should do (assuming the financial means, of course). Well, for the first time an entire company agrees with that principle. Not surprisingly Numerai is a cutting edge hedge fund using AI for its data modeling.
Melanie Swan is doing a cryonics survey for members of existing cryonics organizations and supporters for an upcoming scholarly publication. It takes around 15 minutes to complete. If you are interested in taking the survey, click on the following link:
WHERE: 505 Cypress Point Drive, Mountain View, CA – the clubhouse
WHEN: 4:00 pm, Sunday, July 23rd
JOIN US: Please bring food for the potluck. We also have a sauna, hot-tub and pool here, if you are so inclined.
Robert Whitaker (A-1649), a public, neuro member, was pronounced on June 3, 2017 in Columbia, SC and became Alcor’s 152nd patient on June 4, 2017.
On Saturday June 3rd at 16:25, Medical Response Director Josh Lado received a Telemed alert that Robert Whitaker was found clinically deceased at home. His personal assistant had gone out shopping and when she arrived home, she found Robert. She immediately called Alcor’s emergency line. When Josh contacted her, he directed her to immediately call 911 and report Robert’s condition. He then called Alcor president Max More to discuss what could be done.
It was decided to do our best given the situation, which was to complete a field neuro cryoprotection. Working with the Lexington County Deputy Coroner and Pathologist. Josh was able to coordinate Robert being taken to the hospital morgue where the entire field neuro procedure could be done as soon as Josh and Steve Graber, Alcor’s Technical and Readiness Coordinator, arrived the following day.
Josh and Steve left Phoenix, AZ just before midnight and arrived in Columbia, SC Sunday morning. They arrived at the hospital and were able to start surgery just after 09:30 AZ time. Surgery went well and perfusion went better than expected. Good flow was established and all bags were finished at 12:50 AZ time.
Robert was placed into the neuro dry ice box shipper for immediate cool down to dry ice temperature. Additional dry ice was added that night and again in the morning before shipment. He was transported back to Scottsdale, arriving Monday morning. He was placed into the cool down dewar on Wednesday morning as cool down needed to be completed for the previous Alcor patient. Robert will continue to cool and a CT scan will be performed before he is placed in a Bigfoot dewar.