Case Summary: A-2419

At 99 years old, whole-body Alcor member A-2419 (confidential) became one of the oldest individuals to ever be cryopreserved, with only two other members being slightly older. Living in St. Louis, Missouri for his entire life, he served in the Army Air Force during WWII and was awarded two Bronze Service Stars.

For most people in their 90s, any serious health complication can be life threatening. Alcor closely monitored the health of this individual when he entered into a long-term care facility in 2009. Due to numerous bouts of pneumonia, hospitalization became a frequent and troubling concern for Alcor’s Deployment Committee in determining when a standby response might be needed. In September, 2011, Aaron Drake and Steve Graber of Alcor were deployed to St. Louis for a three day standby when physicians were gravely concerned over the member’s health. Fortunately, a strong recovery ensued and the standby was terminated.

On March 6th, 2013, as Alcor was in the middle of performing a cryopreservation of their 116th patient, we received a call from the member’s family that A-2419’s health was failing and they expected him to pass within the next week. After discussing the situation in more depth with medical providers in charge of our member’s care, Alcor’s Deployment Committee decided to send Suspended Animation to initiate a standby on the following day. After four days, the member succumbed to his illness. Directed by Catherine Baldwin, Suspended Animation immediately performed stabilization, cool down and field washout procedures. To further avoid any potential delays associated with commercial airline shipping, the family provided additional funds for a private jet service to fly the patient directly to Scottsdale.

The patient arrived at Alcor seven hours after cardiac arrest and the cryoprotective surgery began 15 minutes later. On March 10th, 2013, A-2419 joined his wife at Alcor, who was also cryopreserved in 2009.