First Woman Is Cryogenically Frozen, Hoping To Be Resuscitated


It looks like miracles are no longer fairytales, and could be getting more and more within our reach. Earlier this year, we moved one step closer to perhaps bringing people back from the dead, after a deceased woman in China was cryogenically frozen for the first time.

Zhan Wenlian, 49, died of lung cancer in May. Her husband, Gui Junmin, volunteered her body for the ‘life preservation project’, hoping she might be brought back to life by advanced technologies in the future. Gui says he and his wife were against cremation, and both had planned to donate her body to science after her death to ‘give back to society’ saying:

 “I tend to believe in new and emerging technologies, so I think it will be completely possible to revive her.”

frozenZhan Wenlian

Wenlian’s body rests face down in a giant tank filled with 2,000 liters of liquid nitrogen, at Yinfeng Biological Group (YBG) in East China. The experimental project is a collaboration between YBG, Qilu Hospital Shandong University, and a US non profit called Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

What is Cryonics?

Cryonics is the process of rapidly cooling the body of a person who is near death or deceased, to temperatures so low that they can be preserved for decades, even centuries – hoping that future medical technologies can restore them to full health. A special cocktail of chemicals are used to prevent the body from actually freezing, as the formation of ice crystals in the body causes irreversible cell damage.

The moment Zhan’s heart stopped beating, the 55-hour procedure started, with her body now resting in negative 196 degrees celsius (negative 321 degrees fahrenheit), until the scientists behind the project decide in future to attempt restoration of  Zhan’s life. Director of YBG Jia Chushend says ‘Zhan and her family are clear about the risks and the possibility that the procedure might ultimately fail.’

Wenlian’s husband, Gui Junmin

There is no evidence that people will one day be able to be revived, but the project gives hope to Gui and his wife for the future, who also wishes to be cryogenically frozen when he dies saying:

“If my wife wakes up, she might be lonely. I need to keep her company.”



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