Disabled Russian who volunteered for world’s first head transplant says having a glamorous new wife and ‘beautiful kid’ have put him off having surgery because he ‘can’t leave them’
- Valery Spiridnov was set to have head transplanted onto another person’s spine
- The research is being pioneered by Italian doctor Sergio Canavero in China
- Has carried out the procedure on monkeys whose brains can still send signals
- Mr Spiridnov says parental responsibilities have ruled out the surgery for now
A severely disabled Russian who was set to be the first human to have his head transplanted onto another person’s spine says his responsibilities as a father made him rethink the decision.
Valery Spiridnov says that he couldn’t leave his ‘beautiful kid’ – who was born in November – for the months taken up by the pioneering procedure.
The 33-year-old suffers from muscle-wasting disease Werdnig-Hoffman, a form of spinal muscular atrophy often leading to low life expectancy.
Mr Spiridnov (pictured on Good Morning Britain this morning) has said that his parental responsibility had prevented him from pursuing the treatment
Mr Spiridnov’s wife, Anastasia Panfilova (pictured) holds a masters degree in chemical technology and lives with the computer expert in the US
But the computer expert, who now lives in Florida, today said that the first in line for the treatment should be the terminally ill.
Today he told Good Morning Britain that he is not pursuing the treatment because he can’t leave Anastasia Panfilova and their baby son.
‘I be with a woman who I fell in love with I’m happy to say I’m married and have a beautiful kid now,’ he said. ‘I cannot leave them without my attention even for a few months.’
The 33-year-old told the programme this morning that he wouldn’t be willing to leave his wife and son for the months required to undergo the procedure
Italian doctor Sergio Canavero claims that it is a medical myth that the severance of a head from the spine means death.
He has reattached the heads of monkeys after separating them from the next and found they are still able to send signals to their limbs and move about as they did before.
Doctor Canavero – dubbed Dr Frankenstein – is currently working in China to carry out further research.
Mr Spiridnov said this morning: ‘I still support the research. Recent achievements in China are very important because they can help people all over the world walk again.’
The computer expert is pictured with his wife, who he now lives with in Florida with a child that he described as a ‘miracle’
Mr Spiridnov (pictured with his son) says that the terminally ill should be first in line for the treatment as he praised research in China
He announced in December that he would not be seeking the treatment any time soon, but today revealed the decision was due to his unwavering commitment to his family.
‘I have become a really happy person I have moved to the United States and I’m getting my Masters degree here,’ he said. ‘I really appreciate my faith and my wife.’
Though the surgery is off the cards for now, he said he hasn’t ruled it out entirely and might be willing to take the risk if somebody else goes first.
But he believes that the priority for such a treatment should be people who aren’t as lucky as him and are facing death.
Just a few months ago he expressed concerns that something had gone ‘wrong’ in Dr Canavero’s research, which some experts decry as impossible.
He described his son as a ‘miracle’ after the child was born healthy despite Werdnig-Hoffman being hereditary.
Mr Spiridnov’s wife holds a masters degree in chemical technology and underwent tests during her pregnancy.