Head Transplant Volunteer Falls In Love, Cancels Surgery
A man who volunteered for the world’s first head transplant has cancelled the landmark surgery because he has a new girlfriend and “miracle” baby son.
Disabled Valery Spiridonov, 33, was ready to have his neck severed by Professor Sergio Canavero – dubbed ‘Dr Frankenstein’ – and his head reattached to a new, healthy body.
But he has changed his mind after starting a family with new love Anastasia Panfilova.
Professor Canavero is now working in China where he has received funding for his research while Mr Spiridonov, who became world famous for his readiness to be decapitated for science, has found his own extraordinary new life.
The computer expert worked for two years with Dr Canavero but now accepts the doctor’s first attempts at the futuristic surgery will be on Chinese volunteers rather than him.
Mr Spiridonov has moved to America and is now studying the computer analysis of emotions at the University of Florida.
He has revealed that with him are his bride Anastasia – who is in her early 30s – and the couple’s recently-born son.
A picture shows the proud father – who suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a form of spinal muscular atrophy often leading to low life expectancy – holding his baby.
The little boy was born six weeks ago and is healthy, which Mr Spiridonov describes as a “miracle” since the condition can be inherited.
Anastasia, who has a masters degree in chemical technology and previously studied in Italy, is not seen in pictures with her husband. But she explained online her love of men in wheelchairs.
She said: “Such people [in wheelchairs] are much deeper, feeling, faithful, kind-hearted, and also they are usually very smart…isn’t that the main thing?”
Mr Spiridonov said: “We lived in the same city, and often met on professional matters and soon realised that we felt really good together. She has several degrees. We got married a little over one year ago in Moscow.”
Spiridonov said he is happy with his new life but has challenged Dr Canavero to come clean on his work in China amid a suspicion that the Italians encountered problems with his techniques.
“I understood that it was a great risk,that it had never been done before. But what did I have to lose? I could not lose just a tiny chance to walk normally.” he told Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
He claimed there is a lack of information from Dr Canavero on his experimental work in China.
“I do not regret it that Canavero did not reach the final goal – or did reach it, and failed. This was just a normal working process. The only thing we lack from him is more publicity ,” he said.
Instead of becoming a guinea pig, Mr Spiridonov has designed a “smart” wheelchair operated by voice, and is working on consultancy projects.
He admitted: “I feel a weight lifted off my chest. I never had a vain motive to become the first. I gave two years of my life to this project. I will be glad to see it happening [with someone else].”I am deeply grateful to Canavero. Thanks to our joint efforts, a lot is changing for the better, and for me too.”