The 83rd patient of the Cryonics Institute is a 91-year-old woman. (The death certificate says 89, but according to her son that is incorrect.) She had been extremely sick for the previous five months, and on four occasions it appeared she was going to die.
The patient had a long history of medical problems, beginning with two minor heart attacks in the 1970s and a kidney that had atrophied and collected infections, leading to pyelonephritis. She had been on high blood pressure medications for nearly 30 years. She had breast cancer around 1990, but was essentially cured by simple mastectomy and tomoxifen. She had a pacemaker for over 15 years. She had received three carotid endarterectomies, one of which was a repeat to put in a stent. The patient had smoked for 63 years, which doubtlessly led to her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She had been on oxygen for 2 months in 2002.
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.