Enough Money’s Been Raised for First Head Transplant

2994EF9000000578-0-image-a-2_1434204898613Money is pouring in to pay for the world’s first head transplant, says the man who is ready to make history by becoming a human guinea pig.

Valery Spiridonov has confirmed major donations have started to arrive, allowing surgeon Sergio Canavero to continue planning the operation to remove his head and place it on another body.

However, Spiridonov – who has a muscle wasting disease – refused to confirm reports that unnamed sponsors have pledged $100million (£64million) for the pioneering surgery, dubbed ‘reckless’ by other medical professionals.

Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero is the man behind the plan, and has said it is completely possible

The 30-year-old said: ‘He [Canavero] received several offers, mainly those were people who contacted him through me, because I’m widely seen on the internet.

‘They first contacted me, and then reached out to him.’

The bizarre plan to remove Spirdonov’s head first came to light earlier this year, when the Italian doctor and Russia scientist decided to go public.

Since the, the two have attended a conference together in America to try and convince the medical world that the plan is more than an insane publicity stunt.

There was speculation that the entire thing was an extended publicity stunt for a video game – something which well-known surgeon Canavero has strongly denied.

Spiridonov, who suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a spinal muscular atrophy, explained: ‘If I manage to replace my body and if everything goes well, it will allow me to be free of the limitations I am experiencing.’

He admitted previously: ‘I am not rushing to go under the surgeon’s knife, I am not shouting – come and save me here and now.

Convincing: Canavero and Spiridonov appeared at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons to discuss the neurosurgeon’s plan to transplant Spiridonov’s head to get support

‘Yes, I do have a disease which often leads to death, but my first role in this project is not that of a patient.

‘First of all, I am a scientist, I am an engineer, and I am keen to persuade people – medical professionals – that such operation is necessary.

‘I am not going crazy here and rushing to cut off my head, believe me.

‘The surgery will take place only when all believe that the success is 99 per cent possible.

‘In other words, the main task now is to get support for Canavero from the medical community, to let him go on with his methods and to improve them within these two coming years.’

The men hope to carry out the operation in 2017, if ‘all goes according to plan’.

Not rushing: Spiridonov says he will only consent to the surgery if it is ’99 per cent’ likely to succeed

But a leading Russian surgeon, Anzor Khubutia, director of the Moscow-based Sklifosovsky emergency hospital, warned that Canavero’s plans were ‘reckless’.

‘This may be real in the future,’ said Khubutia. ‘But it’s hard to talk about head transplantation before spine regeneration becomes possible.’

Despite doubts like these, Canavero – labelled Dr Frankenstein – insisted in June that the surgery is feasible.

‘The Soviet Union was the first one to send Yuri Gagarin to space, America was the first on the moon. The country that hosts head transplant surgery for the first time will become a leader like this,’ he said.

He vowed to confound doubters and doom-mongers, claiming: ‘I’ll prove it is totally possible.’

‘Valery’s head will be detached from his body and transferred to another one in a matter of seconds, and brain’s blood flow will start in about 15 minutes.’

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.