A two-year-old girl from Thailand who died of brain cancer has become the youngest person in the world to be cryonically preserved in the hope that one day there will be a cure for her cancer and she could be brought back to life.
Matheryn Noavaratpong suffered from ependymoblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer that occurs in very young children. She was diagnosed with an 11cm tumor in her left brain in 2014. She fell into a coma, but woke up from it a week later. In January 2015, however, she died. Her parents, who are both scientists, decided to preserve her body, online magazine Motherboard reported.
Her parents contacted Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona in the United States which deals in cryonics - the low temperature preservation of humans and animals - and preparations were made to preserve her body.
Here are five others who have also been preserved in the same way.
1. Kim Suozzi, 23
In September 2012, Ms Suozzi, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain cancer and was in the final months of her life, turned to the online Reddit community to raise funds to have her head placed in cryonic preservation. With the help of a cryo-advocacy group Society for Venturism, she raised about US$70,000(S$94,490). She died in January 2013, and her head is also being preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
2. Ted Williams
The well-known American baseball player was cryonically preserved after he died in 2002. The circumstances surrounding the procedure were complicated. His son, John-Henry Williams, had insisted that his father wanted to be preserved, to be brought back in the future. He urged his whole family to do the same so they could be "reunited" when technology and medicine made it possible. However, Williams' will said he wanted to be cremated. Whether to cremate him or preserve him became a legal issue when his daughter by his first wife took John-Henry to court over the matter. John-Henry produced a "family pact" signed on a napkin. The judge ruled in his favour, and Williams was preserved.
3. Dr James Bedford
The psychology professor at the University of California was the first person ever to be cryonically preserved. He even left money for a steel capsule and liquid nitrogen in his will. When he died in 1967, his family abided by his wishes. It was a big day in the cryonics community, and they still refer to the day he died, Jan 12, as "Bedford Day".
4. Richard "Dick Clair" Jones
The American was a producer, actor and writer who had a hand in several television shows. He was also a member of the Cryonics Society of California. In 1988, he died of Aids-related infections and was immediately preserved.
Born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, he changed his name to FM-2030 to reflect his goal of living to be 100 years old. He would have reached his goal in 2030, but did not manage to live that long. He died in 2000 at the age of 69 after contracting pancreatic cancer. He was cryonically preserved because he believed that people would soon develop synthetic organs and body parts that would make the notion of death a thing of the past.
Sources: Daily Mail, Fox 2, Mental Floss