The 82nd patient of the Cryonics Institute is an 85-year-old woman who, along with her husband, has been a CI Member for several years. About four years ago she experienced a stroke. She had been cared-for at home by her husband and nursing aids until the morning of Monday, June 25th when she was taken to the emergency room of a hospital. She had been brought to the hospital because of an eating problem (difficulty opening her mouth), but in the hospital was diagnosed with pneumonia. At about 11am she was pronounced dead due to heart failure. The funeral director packed her head in ice and she was maintained in refrigeration with her head packed in ice until the time she was shipped to the Cryonics Institute.
The Cryonics Institute was contacted by the patient's funeral director about four hours after death had been pronounced. Soon we were faced with an assortment of obstacles associated with shipment. (This case is an object lesson in the value of deanimating near your cryonics organization.)
The 81st patient of the Cryonics Institute was a long-time cryonicist who had switched from CryoCare Foundation to CI when CryoCare was going out of business in 1999. A chemical engineer by profession, the patient was 77 years old at the time of his deanimation.
On Sunday, June 3, 2007 we were notified that the patient had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and had been placed on a ventilator. Depending on the severity of the hemorrhage, remaining on the ventilator could have increased brain damage. The physician estimated that only one-fifth of the brain had been affected. The family was determined, however, that the ventilator would not be removed until family members had been assembled to witness the event together. If the patient died the instant the ventilator was removed, that would be a sign that remaining on the ventilator had probably increased brain damage. As it turned-out, the patient did not deanimate until an hour after the ventilator was removed on the afternoon of Monday, June 4th, a promising sign that remaining on the ventilator may not have increased brain damage.
The 80th patient of the Cryonics Institute (CI) was a 67-year-old woman who deanimated in Europe and was cryopreserved by her son. The patient succumbed to cancer while being held in the arms of her son in her home. Her dying wish was to be cryopreserved. According to her son she was pronounced dead within 15 minutes by a family doctor. Water ice from the family fridge was placed around her head until a funeral director arrived soon after, transported her to a funeral home and placed her in a freezer, which may have held her at −25ºC.
She was held in the freezer for two weeks while her son sold property, obtained dry ice and arranged for shipment to North America. CI Facilities Manager Andy Zawacki told the son not to ship his mother until all funding and contracts were in place, but the son sent his mother to Michigan anyway. Because he did not have adequate funding, CI was unable to accept his mother. For five years the son paid funeral directors to hold his mother on dry ice, ultimately spending nearly as much for on-going dry ice storage as he would have paid for for the entire cryopreservation.
The patient was kept in an electric freezer into which the dry ice was placed. The electric freezer undoubtedly reduced the sublimation of the dry ice, while providing some backup. The son maintains that his mother has been maintained on dry ice without interruption, an ordeal he described as "torture", following the "hell" he went through in preserving and transporting his mother upon her legal death.