Earlier this week, news started circulating that a two-year old girl from Thailand by the name of Matheryn Naovaratpong became the world’s youngest person to be cryogenically frozen. Cryonics is a process by which a human being (or other type of mammal) is preserved at very low temperatures with the goal of being restored at some point in the future. This sounds like something you would see in a science fiction movie, but it’s all too real and there are already many people who underwent the procedure. Contrary to what some might expect, people aren’t usually cryogenically frozen in order to experience some sort of time travel that will take them decades or centuries into the future while they’re in deep sleep. Rather, those who submit to this procedure generally do so because their life is on the line and current medical technology is not able to save them. In other words, this might very well be their only shot at surviving.
This was also the case with Matheryn Naovaratpong whose parents – both doctors – decided to have her cryogenically frozen in the hopes that future technology will able to do what present one can not – save the child’s life. About a year ago the child had been diagnosed with ependymoblastoma, a very aggressive form of cancer that affects children and for which there currently is no cure. During the course of several months doctors did every thing they could for Matheryn but despite showing signs of improvement on several occasions, the girl eventually died because of the disease earlier this year. Moments after her untimely death, the girl’s body was cryogenically frozen by Arizon-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation, perhaps the most renowned company in the world when it comes to cryonics.
Matheryn’s parents hired Alcor because of their previous experience and knowledge on the matter. The company already preserved over 100 other bodies using similar procedures, including the one of baseball legend Ted Williams. As mentioned, the point of all of this is to hope that cryogenically frozen people will be essentially resurrected at some point in the future once science and technology have advanced enough. Cryonics definitely seems like a long shot right now, but maybe in the future this type of procedure will be all too common. Hopefully, it will also be cheaper since at the moment it will cost you an extraordinary amount of money if you want to get yourself or someone else cryogenically frozen. Alcor charges $80,000 for neurocryopreservation and no less that $200,000 for the whole body. However, the company says that the costs can be covered more easily if the patient has good life insurance.