A-1988 Becomes Alcor’s 155th Patient on January 22, 2018

A-1988, a confidential neuro member, was pronounced on January 21, 2018 in Ottawa, Canada. The following day she became Alcor’s 155th patient.

On Friday, January 19, 2018, Alcor received a Telemed alert about a member in Ottawa, Canada. On Wednesday, January 17th, the patient was feeling tired. On Thursday, she was unable to get out of bed and feeling even more tired. The patient was taken to the hospital Friday morning. Doctors were afraid her liver was bleeding. A CT scan showed no bleeding and she was admitted to the hospital onto a non-monitored floor. Later in the day, Alcor was updated that she was feeling better and had more energy.

The patient had a history of breast cancer that she was able to overcome 15 years ago. She was diagnosed 2.5 years ago with non-small cell lung cancer. The cancer spread to brain, spine, and liver. The cancer responded from traditional treatments with only the liver showing signs of cancer on the scans. Treatment moved to experimental drugs.

On Saturday, January 20th, Alcor received an update about the patient. She was doing better. She had more energy and was eating lunch. Her next experimental drug trial was due to begin on January 24, 2018 and doctors felt she would still be able to begin the trial.

On Sunday, Alcor received a phone call at 08:33 (MST) stating that the patient had died. The hospital found the patient without vital signs and doctors declared her deceased at 08:30. Immediate actions were set into motion by Alcor to fly to Ottawa to perform field neuro cryoprotective perfusion. The team flew from Scottsdale, AZ to Vernal, UT to pick up Josh Lado. The team landed in Ottawa and went to the funeral home. Field neuro cryoprotective surgery and perfusion was performed by Josh Lado and Aaron Drake with the assistance of Steve Graber and Eric Vogt. Perfusion went well and the patient was cooled with dry ice.

The team left Ottawa on Monday morning. Upon arrival back at Alcor, the patient was placed into the cooldown dewar and the computer system was initiated. A CT scan was performed with the patient in liquid nitrogen. The scan showed some shrinkage and uniform perfusion with no sign of ice formation.

Fortunately, the family was able to afford a charter flight — shown in these photos — thereby greatly reducing travel time and making field cryoprotection possible.


A-2878, Cormac Seachoy, Case Summary Patient 142

Cormac Seachoy (member A-2878), age 27, lived in Bristol, UK (England’s sixth largest city) and was a graduate of the University of Bristol where he was the vice president of their Social Enterprise Project. He also worked as the website coordinator at Bristol Cable. He volunteered for many organizations including Transparency International, an anti-corruption charity in Sierra Leone. Cormac suffered from metastatic neuroendocrine cancer of the colon. He was pronounced on December 16th, 2015. Stabilization, cool down, and transport was performed by Cryonics UK and the perfusion was performed by Aaron Drake, with the assistance of Rowland Brothers Mortuary. Cormac, a whole body member, became Alcor’s 142nd patient on December 16.

Cormac had intended to relocate to Scottsdale via air ambulance and enter an assisted-living facility but wanted to put off leaving his family until it became necessary. We realized that this made it likely that we would have to conduct a field cryoprotection in England. We first heard from and started discussing this case with Tim Gibson of Cryonics UK in late November. With support from his family, he was able to complete the paperwork and get finances in place on December 9.

In a deployment discussion on December 14, we were going on the basis of a current estimate of two more weeks to live. At that time, we were still planning options involving an air ambulance and either hospitalization or hospice. At the same time, his doctors warned that, despite their prediction of two weeks remaining, his bowel could perforate at any time and he could die suddenly and without warning.

We didn’t know at the time that he had only two days left. However, we had also planned for the possibility of doing a field cryoprotection, probably with the assistance of Cryonics UK. Alcor’s Medical Response Director, Aaron Drake, prepared to fly to Cormac’s location and perform standby, stabilization, and field cryoprotection with the assistance of Tim (who was the only member of C-UK available). Cormac, however, was declining rapidly on the 16th and arrested before Aaron could arrive. While Aaron was in the air, Max More discussed options with Tim.

Tim made the 180-mile trip from Sheffield to Bristol, arriving at 6:49 pm MST – a little over two hours after pronouncement. Instead of Aaron going to Bristol, the plan was now for him to meet Tim and the patient in London. Tim carried out the stabilization and transport to London essentially solo (with some help from long-term Alcor member Garret Smyth, who drove from London to Bristol). Max was able to get our international mortuary company in London where we store supplies to open early to accommodate Tim’s expected arrival time. Aaron arrived in London in time to improve the cannulation, complete cryoprotection, and see the patient begin cooling to dry ice temperature.

In order to avoid complications over the holidays, we held Cormac on dry ice for a little longer. He arrived at Alcor early in the evening on December 30. Cormac, our 142nd patient, is now at liquid nitrogen temperature at Alcor.

Two-Year Old Thai Girl Becomes Alcor’s 134th Patient

Matheryn Naovaratpong, Alcor member A-2789, was pronounced legally dead on January 8, 2015 (the same date in both Thailand and Arizona’s time zone) in Bangkok, Thailand. The same day Matheryn, a neurocryopreservation member, became Alcor’s 134th patient. She is also Alcor’s youngest patient, being less than three years old at the time of her cryopreservation.

Matheryn was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric brain cancer (ependymoblastoma). Her parents, both with doctorates in engineering, went to great lengths to find an effective treatment, and tried aggressive chemotherapy, high dose radiation therapy, and numerous neurosurgeries, but Matheryn’s health was failing. When it became clear that Matheryn had only months or weeks left, given today’s level of medical science and treatment, the parents completed cryonics arrangements for her and worked with Alcor (primarily Medical Response Director, Aaron Drake) to overcome barriers of distance to provide her with a high-quality cryopreservation – which includes cryoprotection of her brain.

The family had originally planned to relocate their daughter to the US as her disease process became more advanced and significant planning was made towards that end with a California-based specialty hospital. This included finding suitable hospitals that accept pediatric cases or hospices that are certified for pediatric cases. However, with only a few days remaining before the girl was to be flown to the US, her respiratory function decreased significantly and she was placed on a ventilator, which eliminated any possibility of commercial airline travel. Since prior planning had been made and contacts had been established within that country for a different Alcor client (who helped generously and effectively in this case) and his family, the confidence level was high that the procedure could still be successfully performed in Thailand.

After discussing which individuals should be on the response team for a child who had 12 previous neuro surgeries and potentially very challenging vasculature, it was decided that Dr. Kanshepolsky, a neuro surgeon, would be an excellent candidate. After a request was made, Dr. Kanshepolsky agreed to travel with Aaron to perform the standby and a field neuro-cryoprotection, following the young girl’s pronouncement. His expertise proved invaluable. After examining the girl at the hospital, he made several observations and recommendations to the family that informed the decision to undertake cryoprotective perfusion of Matheryn’s brain in Thailand while not separating her brain (which was to be preserved) from the rest of her body. This worked out to be an effective way to move through the repatriation process and back to the US.

Two days were needed for travel to Thailand and two days were spent on standby. On the second day, Matheryn was pronounced by a physician who was present at the bedside when clinical death occurred. A surgery suite had been prepared in an adjoining room and access to the patient for stabilization and perfusion was immediate. Alcor’s field cryoprotection system was tested in the very remote field and proved effective. By existing benchmarks, the procedure went very smoothly and without incident. The entire patient was placed in a specially prepared dry ice shipping container and cool down to dry ice temperature (-79 degrees C/-109 degrees F) began on-site.

After the US Embassy in Thailand approved the shipment, the container was topped off with dry ice and shipped by airline to LAX for customs approval. It was easier and quicker for Alcor to work directly with our mortuary agent in Buena Park, California and take possession of the shipment directly in Los Angeles, rather than to secure another flight to Phoenix and deal with two additional sets of cargo offices. Steve Graber and Aaron Drake drove to California, topped the container off with dry ice, obtained a transit permit with the assistance of the mortuary and drove back to Arizona. The neuro separation was performed at Alcor after arrival and Matheryn became Alcor’s 134th patient.

This case was remarkable in several ways, including the determination and resourcefulness of Matheryn’s parents in working with Alcor to make this very long-distance case both possible and successful. It was the first ever field neuro cryoprotection in Asia and the Matheryn is our youngest patient. Matheryn’s family, extending well beyond her mother and father, were supportive and have said they plan to also make cryopreservation arrangements with Alcor. No doubt being surrounded by familiar faces of loving relatives will make the resumption of her life – as we hope and expect to be happen – easier and more joyful.

— Max More and Aaron Drake