The man volunteering to be the guinea pig for pioneering head transplant surgery is flying to America this week to meet for the first time the doctor intending to give him a new body.
Russian Valery Spiridonov will appear at a major medical conference in Annapolis with Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero, who hopes to convince the medical establishment that his techniques are on the brink of viability.
But he prepared to fly to New York today, one of Moscow’s top surgeons branded the £9.8million ($15million) head transplant plan ‘reckless’, claiming the medic – who has been labelled Dr Frankenstein by critics – is nowhere near being ready to undertake such a complex operation.
Spiridonov, a 30-year-old sufferer of Werdnig-Hoffman disease, has publicly volunteered to be first patient, saying he is aware of the risks.
He told MailOnline: ‘I am flying to New York and then will go to Annapolis to take part in the scientific conference with the surgeon Sergio Canavero.
‘We will be together on stage. It will be a joint presentation. I will speak for myself. ‘I do hope that my trip and my participation in this conference will help to push the idea of this surgery, to persuade the medical world and to make sure we have support from the scientific community.’
Spiridonov, seen as a child in new pictures released to Mailonline, will tell the gathering that he hopes his head will be transplanted onto a physically fit body within two years. Such surgery would be a medical sensation.
‘I am not in a hurry to be operated on, but if all goes according to our plan, the surgery will take place in two years from now, sometime in 2017,’ he said.
‘The place of the surgery will very much depend on how this conference goes. Preferably, the operation would be done in the USA.’
Read more at Daily Mail