Valery Spiridonov, a terminally ill Russian who has a rare medical condition called Werdnig-Hoffman disease, has volunteered to undergo a procedure dubbed HEAVEN and be the first patient to have his head transplanted onto another healthy human body.

Dr. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon and director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, believes that HEAVEN, or head anastomosis venture, will be successful on his chosen patient. Because of this radical experiment, the surgeon is now being branded as a real-life Victor Frankenstein, the fictional scientist who assembled different parts of the human body to recreate dastardly creatures.

Dr. Canavero has received numerous letters and emails from individuals who desired this type of procedure. Some of whom are transsexuals wishing for a new human body. He is, however, firm in his decision that the first patient should be afflicted with a muscle-wasting disorder such as Werdnig-Hoffman.

Spiridonov, a 30-year-old computer scientist, was diagnosed with this genetic disease when he was just 12 months old. No known cure has been documented. He said that his decision is final.

Since Spiridonov's state is getting worse, he is very eager to try HEAVEN with Dr. Canavero. The surgeon has yet to review Spiridonov's personal medical records. The two have only made contact through Skype.

HEAVEN will reportedly last up to 36 hours and could cost an estimated $11 million. The entire procedure will also require the assistance of around 150 nurses and doctors, headed by Dr. Canavero.

"I say two years is the time needed for the team to reach perfect synchronization," Dr. Canavero speculates.

Dr. Canavero pointed out a near similar case when another surgeon, Dr. Robert White effectively transplanted a monkey's head onto another monkey's body at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1970.

Eight days after the transplant, the monkey died. The animal's body ended up rejecting its new head. It could not move or breathe due to its spinal cord not being connected accurately.

The paper in which Dr. Canavero outlined his procedure references a different 1971 experiment that Dr. White conducted with six monkey heads. None of which survived for more than 24 hours, but Dr. Canavero says advances in science and medicine since then eliminate the challenges that Dr. White faced.

Insisting that HEAVEN will work, Dr Canavero says that both the donor - somebody who is brain-dead but whose body remains healthy - and Spiridonov would have their heads cut off from their spinal cords at exactly the same time.

A glue-like substance will be used to stick the two ends of the spinal cord together. The patient, with his new body, will be put into a coma for four weeks for the head and body to heal.

Dr. Canavero says he has collected part of the funding, although he cannot yet disclose where the money is coming from as a condition of the funding.

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