“I would rather take the chance with preservation than rot in the ground or get cremated.”
A split second after Kim Suozzi died of brain cancer at the age of 23, her boyfriend, Josh Schisler, alerted the cryogenics team in the hallway to collect her body. Every moment between death and the transfer of her body to the cryogenic team lessened the chances of her revival years, possibly decades, down the road. Those final moments were tense, but Schisler was elated to help fulfill her dying wish, one that was also granted by the generosity of strangers.
The journey to this moment started three years ago when Suozzi learned she had brain cancer and was given six months to live. Searching for a way to beat her diagnosis which gave her a one-percent chance of living, she looked to the only place there was hope, the future. In 2012, Suozzi posted on Reddit, “Reddit, help me find some peace from dying (I’m 23).” In the post, she revealed her desire to have her brain cryogenically frozen so that in the future, should technology find a cure for her brain cancer, her consciousness could be restored.
Given Reddit’s history of championing forward-thinking causes, Suozzi was able to raise the amount (around $80,000) to have her brain cryogenically frozen at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Much of this funding came through a group known as Society for Venturism, a team that had already successfully raised funds for two cryopreservations.
Here’s part of her impassioned plea to Reddit:
“I know this is a big thing to ask for, and I’m sure many people are doubtful that preservation is plausible with cryonics. I’m far from convinced, but I would rather take the chance with preservation than rot in the ground or get cremated.”
On January 17, 2013, Suozzi passed away. Since her passing, her boyfriend, Schisler, has periodically left her messages to keep her up-to-date should she regain consciousness. Recently, Schisler learned that the cryoprotectant pumped into her brain had only reached its outer layers and the rest of the tissue was vulnerable to ice damage, but the areas associated with language and abstract thought remained protected.
(H/T The New York Times)