BANGKOK, Thailand -- A two-year-old baby's head containing only 60
percent of her brain is now being cooled by liquid nitrogen in
Arizona, the youngest person to undergo cryonic preservation for
possible revival, thanks to her parents here in Bangkok, the U.S.
Embassy, and Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

Matheryn Naovaratpong's case redefines the controversial phrase
"right-to-life" and takes it to a completely different level -- beyond
the grave -- while her parents try to extend her existence even though
most people regard the baby as deceased.

She also adds to the debate about euthanasia, and the way some people
can now control their life and death during an illness.

Spiritual belief, and its relationship to medical care, are also
involved in this baby's unusual fate.

Matheryn's Thai Buddhist parents paid Alcor $120,000, hoping their
baby's preserved brain will one day be heated up, cured of cancer, and
have its missing 40 percent regrown.

Matheryn's parents also hope she will be able to produce a new body,
spawned from her surviving stem cells, so her revived head and brain
can be attached and she can enjoy a healthy future.

"Matheryn Naovaratpong, Alcor member A-2789, was pronounced legally
dead on January 8, 2015," said Scottsdale-based Alcor Life Extension

Matheryn, stricken with brain cancer and other complications,
underwent lengthy medical treatment in Bangkok's hospitals before she
died, including chemotherapy, radiation, drilling through her skull
and extraction of a tumor.

Eventually her father, Sahatorn Naovaratpong, 41, and his 39-year-old
wife, Nareerat, took Matheryn home.

On January 8, her father took Matheryn off life support, so she could
be cryonically preserved.

Mr. Sahatorn said he is an engineer with a PhD. in energy technology,
designing industrial machines and medical equipment in Bangkok.

He became interested in cryonics as a child, when he and his family
froze and revived pet goldfish which were floating, dead or dying, in
their aquarium at home.

"I had my own experiments with golden fish," Mr. Sahatorn said in an
interview on June 26.

"We placed all of the fish in an ice box. And then they recovered, one
by one by one. More than 70 percent could recover and live and
reanimate again."

Years later, after he saw the "Alien" movies show astronauts use
cryonics for space travel so they would not grow old, he became
fascinated with the possibilities.

During the interview, Mr. Sahatorn sat next to a small shrine he built
in his office honoring his daughter.

The makeshift shrine displays her white crib, white dress, baby shoes,
colorful stuffed Minnie Mouse and other toys, revered icons and
Buddhist statues, plus Matheryn's larger-than-life portrait and her
medical intravenous drip bag.

The shrine also includes a few of her teeth in a plastic test tube,
and a jar containing some of Matheryn's burnt bones which were
retrieved after the cremation of her decapitated body.

As a Buddhist, Mr. Sahatorn believes in reincarnation, and speculates
that he did not interfere with that process of rebirth.

He said he iced his baby so quickly in Bangkok after she was declared
dead, that her "kwan," or spirit, probably did not leave Matheryn's

"When I closed the [baby's cryonic] capsule, my idea was: 'The
probability that I can meet my baby again? Nearly zero'.

"I may die from some accident. Or maybe the future technology that can
reanimate her will be in 50 years, and I will not be alive at that
time. Or even if we get the technology at that time, you would need a
law to allow people to be reanimated.

"If some people reanimate again from cryonics, maybe the people in [a
future] society will be against them.

"I thought, when I closed the capsule: 'This is for my baby. She will
go to the future'."

Mr. Sahatorn said Matheryn's extensive brain cancer treatments
resulted in the destruction and removal of 80 percent of her left
brain -- equaling 40 percent of her entire brain lost.

But he believes Matheryn has enough brain cell structure remaining
that she can be revived and her mind restored.

He archived photographs, video, text and other details of Matheryn's
brief life, so she can examine that digital and printed data and know
who she was, how her preservation took place, and why.

Gesturing toward the crib where she stayed after he converted this
office into a hospice for her, Mr. Sahatorn said he personally took
his daughter off life support in this room when he realized all
medical attempts to cure her had failed.

"I took her off life support. About three hours [later] she was dead.

"In the room at that time? Our family. My wife. My sister-in-law. My children.

"After I took off the life support, I thought: 'About five minutes',"
would be the longest she could survive.

"But she not die," and instead struggled to breathe.

So he telephoned a Chulalongkorn Hospital doctor to come -- and also
the police who are required to confirm deaths in Thailand.

"When they came, she was still alive. So they waited," he said.

"She still survived about three hours. After three hours, the doctor
announced she has died.

"After she died, about less than 20 minutes, we cooled down the body,
very fast, very fast," and telephoned a nearby Alcor team who had
arrived in Bangkok from America a few days earlier.

"I took out her teeth," Mr. Sahatorn said.

He and his friends at Chulalongkorn University's medical department
later experimented on cells from Matheryn's teeth, searching to cure
cancer, he said.

Alcor's Medical Response Director Aaron Drake and retired neurosurgeon
Dr. Jose Kanshepolsky arrived at Mr. Sahatorn's office within hours,
and began preliminary work on the dead baby.

Dr. Kanshepolsky performed a "cryoprotective perfusion of Matheryn's
brain in Thailand while not separating her brain -- which was to be
preserved -- from the rest of her body," Mr. Drake and Alcor President
Max More said in a joint statement.

Her corpse "was placed in a specially prepared dry ice shipping
container, and the cool down to dry ice temperature -- minus 109
degrees Fahrenheit (minus 79 degrees Celsius) -- began on-site," in
Mr. Sahatorn's office, they said.

"After the U.S. Embassy in Thailand approved the shipment, the
container was topped off with dry ice and shipped by airline to LAX,"
they said, describing their flight to Los Angeles International

In California, Mr. Drake and another colleague then "topped the
container off with dry ice" and drove the dead baby to Scottsdale,
Arizona, where her head was cut off -- a "neuro separation" -- and
preserved, enabling her parents to later cremate her body.

"It was the first ever field neuro cryoprotection in Asia, and
Matheryn is our youngest patient," the joint statement said.

"Neuropatients are placed in individual aluminum containers.
Containers are finally immersed in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of
minus 321 Fahrenheit (minus 196 Celsius) for long-term care," the
company, founded in 1972, said on its website.

"Adding high concentrations of chemicals called 'cryoprotectants' to
cells, permits tissue to be cooled to very low temperatures with
little or no ice formation. The state of no ice formation at
temperatures below minus 184 Fahrenheit (minus 120 Celsius) is called

"It is now possible to physically vitrify organs as large as the human
brain, achieving excellent structural preservation without freezing,"
Alcor said.

"Alcor has no specific interest in preserving heads. Alcor's interest
is preserving people," it said.

"Removing a brain today from its protective enclosure -- the skull --
would cause unnecessary damage. Alcor therefore leaves the brain
protected within the head during preservation and storage."

Alcor warns customers of the gamble.

"There is still no definitive proof that cryonics can preserve
long-term memory or personal identity," Alcor said.