Father of cryonically preserved Thai girl: I will just hug her if we meet again

DR SAHATORN Naovaratpong is a science buff who has been fascinated with the idea of cryonics since he was young. When his two-year-old daughter Matheryn was felled by a rare form of brain cancer last year, he knew immediately that he wanted to freeze her remains, in hope that future advances in medical science could bring her back to life.

When Matheryn's illness became terminal in January, the 42-year-old Thai businessman personally turned off her life support machine.

A medical team specially flown in from the United States prepared her body for cryonic preservation, before shipping her body to Arizona.

Today, her brain and central nervous system are housed in low-temperature conditions in the facility of Arizona-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation. She is the youngest among over 100 "patients" whose remains are preserved there.

Dr Sahatorn, who holds a doctorate in engineering, is realistic about the chances of ever meeting his daughter again. Scientists must first be able to cure her cancer, regenerate her body using her preserved cells, and then implant her thawed brain in this new body.

"It would take at least 50 years" for this to be possible, he told The Straits Times in an interview on Wednesday.

What would he say if he were to meet his daughter again?

"No word from me. I will just hug her," he said.

Read The Straits Times on Thursday, Apr 23, for the full story.

tanhy@sph.com.sg