We all have to face death at some point. For some of us, that means dealing with a terminal illness. When that happens, we have to decide how we’ll react.
Most of us don’t have the option to turn ourselves into a cyborg. But that’s what one terminally ill British scientist did in a first for the human race.
In 2017, Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
The disease causes muscles to deteriorate. His doctors told him he’d be dead by the end of 2019.
But instead of despairing, the 61-year-old made a plan. He decided he’d become the world’s first full cyborg.
It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie but it actually happened.
We’ve now reached the time when doctors said Scott-Morgan would be dead. Instead, he’s doing better than anyone dreamed.
“All medical procedures now complete and a huge success,” he said. “My mini-ventilator keeping me breathing is a LOT quieter than Darth Vader’s. All speech is synthetic but at last sounds like me again. Long research road ahead but in great spirits.”
Scott-Morgan’s procedures took place over 24 days in an intensive care unit.
Motor neuron disease attacks many different parts of the body. For that reason, Scott-Morgan decided to “upgrade” all of them. He had a feeding tube inserted into his stomach. He also had a catheter placed in his bladder and a colostomy bag attached to his colon.
It might seem like a lot. But these measures let him remain independent. He can feed himself and go to the bathroom alone. He also had a laryngectomy. That entailed removing his larynx to prevent saliva from dripping into his lungs. This is a common problem in people with MND.
Unfortunately, the laryngectomy meant he’d no longer have the ability to speak.
But Scott-Morgan decided it was worth it. Now, he uses synthetic speech, which he’s even been able to make sound somewhat like his natural voice.
Scott-Morgan thinks he’s paved the way for a brighter future for those with diseases like MND.
“I’m not dying,” he said. “I’m transforming. Oh, how I love science.”
His electric wheelchair also allows him to move rapidly and independently.
Even with everything that’s been done, he’s always looking for new ways to improve. But Scott-Morgan doesn’t want this to stop with him. He doesn’t want others diagnosed with MND to see the disease as inevitable death. He says that instead, they should see it as a chance to improve their bodies.
“Over time, more and more with MND, with extreme disability, with old age, with a passion simply to break free from their physical straightjacket, will choose to stand beside me,” he said. “And we will all stand tall. And we will stand proud…because we refuse simply to ‘stay alive.’”
He started a foundation for those suffering from the disease.
His “Right to Thrive” campaign has gone before Parliament with requests for funding.
“We need to make a noise that rises above the clamour of business as usual and Brexit,” he urged. “For far too long, the voice of MND has been largely unheard.”
Scott-Morgan made history by becoming the first “full” human cyborg. Now, he aims to change the future for others living with the same disease.
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Source:All That’s Interesting