HEAVEN on Earth

HEAVEN on Earth

'HEAVEN' is an acronym for ‘head anastomosis venture’
The world’s first full body transplant, or ‘head transplant’ if you prefer, is expected to take place next month in China
Pioneering Italian neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavera will be working with Xiaoping Ren a fellow Chinese neurosurgeon and a team of 80 plus other surgeons in ground breaking but highly controversial surgery to amputate and transplant a disease free head to a healthy body of a patient in a vegetative state
This surgery is nothing short of audacious, and most will think it unethical, but we are all interested to see if the surgery will be successful because it will have far reaching positive implications for people living with spinal cord injuries and disease
Practically, experimental head transplant procedures have been carried out on numerous animals and more recently on human corpses
Valery Spiridonov is a 31 year old computer scientist from Ukraine who suffers with a muscle wasting disease is the brave volunteer who ‘wants the chance to have a new body before [his] terminal condition kills [him]’. Spiridonov has absolute trust that Canavera can do this successfully
The operation is expected to last around 36 hours and has a cost to Canavera personally at an estimated £14m
Fusion of the spinal cord is anticipated to be the greatest hurdle because whilst nerves outside the spinal cord can regrow, a severed spinal cord will not regrow.  This said, a compound already used in medicine known as polyethylene glycol (‘PEG’) fuses cells together forcing them to merge into a hybrid cell and using this should refuse the spinal cord and re-establish communication between the brain and the body

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