Man to undergo world’s first head transplant as early as next year

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Terminally ill Valery Spiridonov said he wanted to undergo the pioneering procedure, carried out by Italian neurosurgeon Professor Sergio Canavero, as early as next year to help him live an independent life.

The 31-year-old computer scientist suffers from Werdnig Hoffman disease, a muscle wasting condition that has left him wheelchair-bound as well as suffering difficulty with breathing, swallowing and chewing.

He appeared before Good Morning Britain today to say he wanted the operation which would see his head removed and placed on a healthy body.

The ground-breaking procedure is said to cost £10 million and will take 150 medical staff around 36 hours to complete. It has never been carried out on humans before with limited success on animals.

Mr Spiridonov said: “I thought that if this technology could improve and could be done safe enough to make these transplants on humans, it will make sense and of course we should evolve this procedure and make it happen.

“My current condition is pretty heavy. I cannot take care of myself, I cannot walk, I need constant assistance.

“My motivation is about improving my life conditions and to get to the stage where I will be able to take care of myself and be independent of other people.”

GMB presenter Charlotte Hawkins explained medics would freeze the head and body to preserve brain cells before the neck is cut to allow tubes connecting the key arteries to be fitted.

She carried on by saying the head would then be moved on to the spinal cord using a type of glue before a “race against time” to reattach the remaining muscles and organs.

Professor Canavero said there was a 90 per cent chance Mr Spiridonov would survive the operation but admitted he could die. Read Full

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