Couple freezes toddler for future revival

A physician couple paid over THB10 million to have their 2-year-old daughter frozen in the hope that one day medical advances will restore her to life.

The body of Matheryn “Einz” Naovaratpong, who died of a brain tumor in January after battling cancer for nine months, is now being cryogenically preserved at -196C at a U.S.-based cryopreservation facility.

“It provides the opportunity for Matheryn to breathe again when the technology is provided and appropriate for her disease,” her father Sahathorn Naovaratpong told the Daily Mail.

Matheryn’s body was moved to an ice bed at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona, where it was coated in freezing materials. Her brain and body are frozen separately.

Matheryn was born by a surrogate mother after her biological mother lost her uterus during the birth of their first son. Her family said her birth was a miracle to them, only to later learn she had a rare brain cancer known as Ependymoblastoma.

“Through all this roller coaster of treatments and emotions, we noticed a power of struggling for life in her beautiful, round eyes,” her father said of his daughter’s treatment on Facebook.

Matheryn survived 12 rounds of brain surgery and other small procedures, and 40 sessions altogether of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Cancer cells and other cells from her body have been kept for further study. The family hopes one day she can be revived once technology has a means.

“They didn’t want their daughter’s life to end in vain,” Aaron Drake, Alcor’s medical response director said. “They’re hoping that by preserving the tissue cells of this particular cancer, they can come up with a better treatment plan, and maybe even eventually cure it. If you look at the global picture of what they’re trying to accomplish, it’s very altruistic.”

The procedure has provided the family peace of mind and given them some solace from the tragedy of her death.

“At least, we devoted her life and body for the progress and development of science,” said her mother, Nareerat Naovaratpong. “This is also another treat for our family, we know that she’s alive although we have been separated.”

Photo: Matheryn Naovaratpong

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