A woman has become the first person in China to be cryogenically frozen in the hopes of being brought back to life by advanced technologies in the future.
Zhan Wenlian, who died of lung cancer aged 49 this past May, was “volunteered” for the ambitious project by her husband, Gui Junmin, who has entrusted her body to a team of Chinese scientists.
The woman’s body now rests facing downwards in a giant tank filled with 2,000 litres of liquid nitrogen at Yinfeng Biological Group in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong Province, where the cryonics procedure took place.
The “life preservation project” – as it was called when it was first pitched to Zhan’s husband – is a collaboration between Yinfeng Biological Group, Qilu Hospital Shandong University, as well as consultants from the US non-profit organisation Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
Aaron Drake, Alcor’s Senior Medical Response Consultant, took part in the 55-hour cryonics procedure that saw the cells in Zhan’s body slowly frozen inside the tank.
Gui said he and his wife were against cremation and had planned to donate her body to science after her death anyway in order to “give back to society.”
He also reiterated his “belief” in technology, saying: “I tend to believe in new and emerging technologies, so I think it will be completely possible to revive her.”
Director Jia Chusheng of Yinfeng Biological Group said: “[Zhan] and her family are clear about the risks and the possibility that the procedure might ultimately fail.
“But as someone who has donated her body to science, she also gains hope of being revived one day.”
Her cryogenically preserved body will remain in stasis at minus 196 degrees Celsius, with Gui hoping that technology will come up with the means to restore his wife.
Gui noted that he also wishes to take part in a similar cryogenics experiment after he dies, saying: “If my wife wakes up, she might be lonely. I need to keep her company.”