Cryogenically Frozen Child Awaits Future Technology to Revive Her

Yeji Kim, Photojournalist

If death was impending, would you consider cryogenically freezing yourself, with the hopes that technology in the future will bring you back to life? E Jin Keum(11) said, “I would. It seems it will be possible in the near future.”

Recently, Matheryn Noavaratpong, a two year old girl from Thailand who died of brain cancer, became the youngest person ever cryogenically preserved. Matheryn is frozen by her heartbroken parents who hope she can one day be resurrected by medical advances.

Last year, Matheryn was diagnosed with 11-centimeter tumor in her brain after she failed to wake up one morning. Matheryn had ependymoblastoma, a rare type of brain cancer that occurs in infants and young children. During the course of several months doctors did every thing they could for Matheryn but despite the effort and intensive treatment, including 20 chemotherapy treatments, 12 rounds of brain surgery, and 20 radiation therapy sessions, Matheryn’s condition did not improve. Eventually, the cancer overtook 80% of Matheryn’s left brain and paralyzed her facial muscles and half of her body. Matheryn died on January 8th, 2015 after her parents switched off her life support machine.

Hoping Matheryn will one day be revived by advances in science, her family have had her body cryogenically preserved by the biggest provider of this service in the world. Matheryn’s body now lies in in Arizona at the Alcor Society, awaiting coming technology.

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, currently holds 134 patients frozen at -196C in liquid nitrogen with a goal of restoring good health when technology becomes available to do so. The patients include US baseball star Ted Williams and his son, John Henry Williams.

Technology is improving healthcare in so many ways. Perhaps, technology will continue to progress to the point that Matheryn Noavaratpong may have a real chance of living again in the future.