In news that is so weird, you almost won’t believe it, a Russian man has volunteered to be the victim for the world’s first head transplant, which two doctors want to perform early next year. Valery Spiridonov—a 31-year-old Russian man who operates an educational software company out of his home in the small city of Vladimir, Russia—suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which confines him to a wheelchair. The disease is genetic and usually fatal, a disorder “that wastes away muscles and kills motor neurons—nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that help move the body.”
Spiridonov sees a head transplant as his only hope. He told The Atlantic “Removing all the sick parts but the head would do a great job in my case. I couldn’t see any other way to treat myself.”
The initiative for the transplant is the brainchild of Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero who reportedly “compares himself to Dr. Frankenstein, mentions Nazi doctor Josef Mengele and has written ... a guide to seducing women,” has been wanting to perform a head transplant since 2013. In 2015, Dr. Canavero performed a head transplant on a monkey. The doctor claims the monkey stayed alive for 20 hours after the surgery, but that has not been verified.