50 years frozen

Fifty years ago James Bedford, 73, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, was the first person to be cryogenically preserved.

He was put into the deep freeze a few hours after he died, from liver cancer that had metastasized to his lungs. But instead of draining his blood and replacing it with a customised antifreeze solution to protect the body’s tissues from damage during the freezing, the antifreeze was just injected into his arteries without removing the blood.

The body was then put into an insulated container packed with dry ice, then immersed in liquid nitrogen in a large container. The body is now in the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In 1991 deep-frozen Bedford was looked at.

Alcor then made a report which suggested that Bedford might need a bit of plastic surgery when he comes back to life: “There is frozen blood issuing from the mouth and nose…The eyes are partially open and the corneas are chalk-white from ice. The nares [nostrils] are flattened out against the face, apparently as a result of being compressed by a slab of dry ice during initial freezing…Close examination of the skin on the chest over the pectoral area disclosed sinuous features that appeared to be fractures…two small samples of skin were secured from the edges of one of these ‘fractures’ with the gentle use of a wood chisel…The genitals are not visible due to the presence of unmelted water ice which anchors the plastic film…The skin on his neck and upper torso was inflamed. His nose had collapsed. His chest had cracked.”

There are no immediate plans for another look.

Picture source: Wikimedia