Several years ago the cryonics kit that had been used in a Canadian case found its way to my apartment -- including a Brunswick heart-lung machine (thumper) and a chest of medications. In December of 2001 I also inherited a plastic bath gurney. No one other than me seemed to have room to store these things. At the time the gurney was being moved-in I decided it would be good to rent an oxygen tank, go through the supplies and have a cryonics local response training. I knew that there would be a cryonics case in the Toronto area eventually -- perhaps even me or one of the 5-10 signed-up cryonicists in the area.
(For background on cryonics emergency response protocol, see Emergency Preparedness for a Local Cryonics Group.) Veteran cryonicist Keith Henson had recently moved to Toronto -- seeking refuge from California Scientologists with whom he had been fighting in the courts. They had him charged with the "hate crime" of persecuting a "religious minority". He was able to show our local cryonics group how to use our Brunswick thumper. We had discussions about other meds and equipment we might need and how we might respond to a cryonics case in Toronto.
On Thursday, February 10 the Cryonics Institute perfused the dog of one of our Members, Kevin Boyle. This was the second time we perfused the dog of one of our Members with Dr. Yuri Pichugin's Vitrification Mixture (VM).
Kevin had been ruefully watching the declining health of his beloved dog Thor and had come to the difficult decision to euthanize so as to optimize the conditions of cryopreservation. Thor had a pitiful limp due to worsening degenerative myelopathy in his hind legs. The once powerful dog was down to two-thirds his original weight. As Kevin monitored Thor's condition he struggled to decide when would be the best time to euthanize. Kevin didn't want to lose his companion too soon, but neither did he want to risk an untimely death which would reduce the chance for good cryopreservation.
When Thor's deterioration became unquestionable, Kevin finally bit the bullet. Thor, Kevin and Kevin's girlfriend Cheryl loaded into Kevin's van and drove to Michigan from Massachusetts. At 9 am that fateful Thursday morning I was met at the door of the CI Facility by a very sad-looking Kevin. Kevin and Cheryl spent their last hour together with Thor at CI. Cheryl too was obviously upset about Thor's condition and the prospect of euthanasia.