Woman whose dad was frozen after death plans to join him with her dog

Woman plans to be cryogenically FROZEN along with her dog so that her dad who was stored in a tank six years ago won’t be lonely if he ever wakes up (and it will cost her $34K)

  • Debbie Fleming, 55, from Florida, hopes she will meet her dad John after death
  • He died in 2013 and has since been stored in a tank at -321 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Will be $28,000 (£21, 657) each and $6,000 (£4,640) for the Corgi to be frozen

A woman whose dad was cryogenically frozen after death has decided to join him – with her dog when the time comes. 

Debbie Fleming, 55, from Palm Bay, Florida, is planning to have her Corgi, Sherry frozen in the hope they will all be ‘reunited’ after death.

Her earliest memories of her father John Bull involve him talking about cryonics, which is the process of scientifically freezing corpses so that in the future they might be revived or ‘reanimated,’ just like in the sci-fi films.

‘I get mad when people say that it’s never going to work, because you can’t be closed minded about everything. Two hundred years ago heart transplants weren’t possible, nor was cloning a sheep,’ explained the systems administrator. ‘I really believe that it’ll work one day.

Dad always said, “if I do wake up then I want to have somebody I love there with me,”. I didn’t want him to be lonely, so I said I’d do it.’ 

Debbie Fleming, 55, from Palm Bay, Florida, whose dad John was cryogenically frozen after death has decided to be frozen with him, so they stand a chance of being revived together in the future

Since John’s death in 2013, he has been stored, upside down in a huge tank, cooled with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -321 degrees Fahrenheit

Debbie’s earliest memories of her father involve him waxing lyrical about cryonics – the process of scientifically freezing corpses so that in the future they might be revived or reanimated, just like in the sci-fi films. Above, the pair on Debbie’s wedding day in 1987

John passed away from Sepsis in 2013 aged 84, following an operation to remove cysts in his colon. Since then he’s been stored, upside down in a huge tank, cooled with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -321 degrees Fahrenheit.

The cost of ‘suspended animation’ for John and Debbie runs at about $28,000 (£21, 657) each, and if corgi mix Sherry is to join them it will cost around $6,000 (£4, 640).


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‘Dad used to say if you’re buried or cremated you have zero percent chance of coming back, but if you’re frozen there’s a slight chance,’ said Debbie. ‘He thought it was worth it, and so do I.’

Debbie’s father John became fascinated with cryonics in the sixties, when he was given a flyer about it in the street.

John became fascinated with cryonics in the sixties, when he was given a flyer about it in the street. Above, as a youngster in the army circa 1954

The cost of ‘suspended animation’ for John and Debbie runs at about $28,000 (£21, 657) each. Above, Cryonics Institute tanks filled with human bodies

Debbie’s father used to tell her that if he did wake up, he wanted somebody there he loved – and that’s when she agreed to get frozen after her death, too. She said: ‘If I did wake up some time in the distant future, I hope to have dad and Sherry with me’

It will cost Debbie around $6,000 (£4, 640) if her beloved Corgi mix Sherry will join her and John in being frozen

Debbie recalled how she and her mother used to joked that John ‘lived to die’.

‘He was always preparing, making sure everything was in place so that death wouldn’t have to be the end.’

John, who owned a vending machine business, was keen to have his whole family frozen with him, but only Debbie was willing. Even his wife of 60 years, Nevora now 84, refused to join him in the ‘second life.’

‘My mother always said “not for me, one time is enough”, she never had any interest,’ explained Debbie. ‘My sister also refused and most people thought it was pretty weird to be honest.’

Speaking of her father’s beliefs, Debbie explained: ‘Dad used to say if you’re buried or cremated you have zero percent chance of coming back, but if you’re frozen there’s a slight chance. He thought it was worth it and so do I.’ Above, John shortly before his death

John’s will dictated that he be placed in the world’s largest facility, The Cryonics Institute (CI) near Detroit, Michigan, where 173 humans and 167 animals are frozen. Pictured, a model of a tank similar to the one John has been storied in since his death

John’s wife of 60 years, Nevora now 84, refused to join him in the ‘second life.’ Above, John and Nevora

‘We started going to cryonics meetings together. He was so happy that I was getting involved, it became a special thing we shared. 

‘If I did wake up some time in the distant future, I hope to have Dad and Sherry with me.’

How does cryogenic freezing work? 

In order for a person to be frozen cryogenically their corpse must be kept cold immediately after death, then transported quickly to the relevant cryonics lab, to avoid rotting and damage.

The body is then infused with a biological antifreeze agent and blood thinners before being placed upside down in the tank chilled with liquid nitrogen.

Bodies are upside down because if the nitrogen accidentally leaks then the all-important brain will be the last part of the body to be spoiled. 

There are only three major facilities in the world that freeze bodies, two are in America and one in Russia.

John’s will dictated that he be placed in the world’s largest facility, The Cryonics Institute (CI) near Detroit, Michigan, where 173 humans and 167 animals are frozen.

In 2016 the CI hit international headlines for gaining its youngest body, a 14-year-old British girl who wanted to be frozen as her dying wish. The unnamed teen was one of only 10 Britains to have been frozen, and the only British child.

Once a year Debbie visits her dad’s tank, which is stored alongside 173 other bodies.

‘I get emotional every time I go in there,’ she said. ‘He loved the place, he was always excited by The Cryonics Institute. For him it signified the hope of life after death.

‘Dad was always worried he’d die in a car accident or somewhere remote, so his body wouldn’t be frozen fast enough, or that it’d be too broken to retrieve.

While John was keen to have his whole family frozen with him, only Debbie was willing. Pictured left, John and wife Nevora and right, Debbie and Nevora’s twin sister Florence in 2005

Explaining that her mother wasn’t keen on the idea, Debbie said: ‘My mother always said “not for me, one time is enough”, she never had any interest.’ Above, John and Nevora on their wedding day

Debbie said she gets ’emotional’ every time she goes to visit her father. She explained: ‘He loved the place, he was always excited by The Cryonics Institute. For him it signified the hope of life after death.’ Above, John as a child

Cryonics is the process of scientifically freezing corpses so that in the future they might be revived or ‘reanimated,’ just like in the sci-fi films. Above, Cryonics Institute tanks filled with human bodies

‘As it turned out he had a very good suspension, he died in the hospital and it all went smoothly.’

She added: ‘It’s funny, I feel like he was in control the whole time. He was slipping away in the hospital so we called the facility to come and collect him, but it took them about half a day to get there. Dad flatlined at the exact moment they arrived, it was as if he knew.’

President of the CI Dennis Kowalski, 50, said: ‘What people don’t realize is that we’re a non profit, we’re not out here trying to make money, we’re just hoping to save lives and advance science.’

President of the CI Dennis Kowalski (above) said: ‘What people don’t realize is that we’re a non profit, we’re not out here trying to make money, we’re just hoping to save lives and advance science’

Once a year Debbie visits her dad’s tank, which is stored in a 3,000 square foot room alongside 173 other bodies. Above, a NitrogenTank at Cryonics Institute

 

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