After one unnamed teen from London received a death sentence — terminal cancer — she decided to fight for permission to freeze her body. She died in October and her body was taken to the United States, BBC News reports.
She wrote a letter to the judge, Mr. Justin Peter Jackson, who was touched by “the valiant way in which she was facing her predicament.”
“I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done. I am only 14 years old and I don't want to die but I know I am going to die. I think being cryopreserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up — even in hundreds of years' time. I don't want to be buried underground. I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”
The cost of the preservation was $39,225 U.S. dollars, and it was paid for by the girl’s family. According to the BBC, there are places in the US and Russia, specifically, to preserve bodies in liquid nitrogen, but not in the United Kingdom.
Sadly, the girl had not had any contact with her father for six years before getting cancer and he was opposed to his daughter’s wish for cyopreservation.
"Even if the treatment is successful and she is brought back to life in let's say 200 years, she may not find any relative and she might not remember things and she may be left in a desperate situation given that she is only 14 years old and will be in the United States of America,” he said.
Simon Woods, a medical expert at Newcastle University, says there’s no evidence that the teen’s wish could be fulfilled one day.
"The diagnosis of death is that death is irreversible, and for people who seek cryopreservation, they've died of a serious disease — in this case it's cancer,” he said. "The person is in a pretty bad state of health to begin with, and there's absolutely no scientific evidence that the person could be brought back to life."
Whether it’s science fiction or a just way for a young girl to hold onto hope in the tragic last walk of her life, we may never know. We do hope, however, that she rests in peace, and that her family may find comfort in an unimaginably difficult time.
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