Is there life after death? Some turn to religion for answers and some are looking right here in Michigan.
More and more people are being cryogenically frozen here in hopes of one day getting a second chance at life.
Freezing eggs or sperm to be thawed out and used at a later date is common, but there’s only three places in the world you can go to have your entire body frozen with any hope of re-using it: Russia, Arizona, and Clinton Township.
It’s been a plot device in TV shows for decades, but fiction is closer to real life than you may think.
At the Cryonics Institute in Clinton Township, the nitrogen filled tanks don’t have windows; only photos provide a glimpse of the patients cryogenically preserved inside hoping one day to be revived.
For believers death isn’t permanent, just an illness waiting for a cure.
Interest in Cryonics is steadily growing. But is revival after being frozen solid possible?
Twenty-six-year old Justin Smiths would say “Yes.”
Just last winter he was found blue and lifeless in a Pennsylvania snow bank. He’d been missing for 12 hours in below zero temps.
Not giving up, a local doctor used a special machine to warm his blood then pump it back into his body, thawing Smith and bringing him back to life.
He lost his toes, but surprisingly has no brain damage .
That’s the idea of Cryonics – with one big difference. Legally to freeze someone - on purpose – they have to be declared dead first
Then, the person is placed in a portable ice bath with a heart and lung machine keep the blood and oxygen flowing
When the body’s core temp reaches 10 degrees, blood is removed and replaced with a cryo-protective solution, then frozen hundreds of degrees below zero and stored vertically head down in an insulated nitrogen filled tank.
It could take decades or centuries before medicine advances enough to make even an attempt at revival possible.
If this works one day there’s the religious question – what happens to all these soul between now and then?
Cryonics has implications beyond bringing people back to life.
The Cryo-prize is offering $50,000 to the first person who is able to freeze an organ – like a liver or heart - thaw it and use it successfully in a transplant.
Even the federal government is researching the technique.