World's first human cyborg Peter 2.0 thriving after voice box cut off, can't eat, breathes through ventilator -
World's first human cyborg Peter 2.0 thriving after voice box cut off, can't eat, breathes through ventilator
Posted 01 Apr 2021 04:59 PM


World's first human cyborg Peter 2.0 thriving after voice box cut off, can't eat, breathes through ventilator


Part man, part machine, 62-year-old British scientist suffering from a life-threatening muscle-wasting disease – motor neurone disease or MND, has managed to convert himself fully into a cyborg called Peter 2.0 making him the first to do so. In his first interview since the transformation given to the UK newspaper The Daily Mail as a serialised memoir, Peter describes his reaction to the prognosis of death, after the initial jolt of the shock of being diagnosed with a terminal disease, was one of defiance. He had no intention of dying. His radical aim was to defy death by turning himself into the world's first cyborg: part man, part machine. Dr Peter Scott-Morgan, a robot specialist was diagnosed with MND in 2017. His fate was more or less sealed at that moment with existing scientific evidence showing that most persons with the disease do not survive for more than a few years after diagnosis. He decided that he will not accept the verdict of death due to his physical illness. He decided to push his doctors to do what one only reads of in sci-fi novels. He decided to exist as a cyborg or a robot by taking the vital functions away from his organs that would fail soon as a result of the MND disorder.

He first developed a life-like avatar of his face before the illness wasted his muscles away. This robotic face responds with expressions to body language using artificial intelligence and is not plasticky static. He underwent complex surgeries and was in the ICU for a little under a month. He underwent a laryngectomy or removal of his voice box to prevent his saliva from entering into the lungs due to his muscle weakness. He had to choose to give up his larynx to prevent death due to saliva aspiration. This also meant that he had lost his speech. He can only speak haltingly, through a voice synthesiser, but the voice is not in a staccato ... more like his own voice with modulation. Now, a year after doctors had expected him to be dead from motor neurone disease (MND), he is kept alive by high-tech wizardry. The most extraordinary thing about this scientist, aside from his optimism, is his relentless capacity for joy. Except for his eyes and a few facial muscles, he cannot move. Neither can he breathe unaided. His sense of smell and taste have deserted him.

He had surgery to insert a nasogastric tube directly into his stomach so that he can be fed bypassing the mouth as well as the food pipe. He also has a catheter in place within his bladder to empty his urine and a colostomy tube and bag connected to his colon to remove faecal matter from his body. His husband Francis (they have been together for 42 years now) is his caregiver too. Francis is not squeamish about dealing with the in-and-out tubes that have become part of his husband's life. 'I'm trained to change the tubes into Peter's throat and bladder. I'm not fazed at all,' he tells the Daily Mail. His top-of-the-line wheelchair can not only help him move but also allow him to lie flat, stand and even go fast. He also has eye-tracking technology that allows him to operate his computers with his eyes. On October 10th he had written on social media that he was trading his voice for “potentially decades of life.” "My mini-ventilator keeping me breathing is a LOT quieter than Darth Vader’s," he jokes about his breathing apparatus.

Rebirth as Peter 2.0:

All the procedures and treatments that he underwent were labelled as an “end of Peter 1.0 and the start of Peter 2.0” he said. He calls himself Peter 2.0 now. 'Thanks to pioneering research, I'm transitioning to become an alternative version of my old self. This is a renaissance. A rebirth,' he explains. 'I'm not so much disabled (although I'm fiercely proud to be called that) as trans-abled. I'm absolutely not 'handicapped'. 'For instance, I can eat and drink while I'm asleep. I never need to get up in the night to have a pee. Indeed I haven't gone to the loo for years. 'But I'm hydrated 24/7. I can breathe perfectly well with a wet flannel pressed over my mouth and nose. The common cold can't take hold and can never spread to my chest. And I can talk clearly with my mouth shut (via his avatar) in potentially any language.' Peter 2.0 wants to let the world know, "I'm not just surviving... I'm thriving!"

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