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Transplanting Memories

Executive Producer: Andrew Waterworth

Production Company: NHNZ


As medical science reaches new frontiers, more and more lives are being saved by organ donors. But is it possible that as well as receiving a new heart, lung or liver, the recipients also acquire their donor's likes, dislikes, memories, emotional traits and sexual preferences? Growing evidence suggests they can.

Two days after undergoing a liver transplant, Debbie Vega developed a craving for cheese doodles and peanut M&Ms, neither of which she ate before the operation. Soon after recovering from surgery, Debbie also felt the urge to take up Tae Bo and listen to rap music.
It wasn't until two years later, after meeting her donor's family, that Debbie discovered her donor 'Howie', an 18 year- old man from New York, loved cheese doodles, M&Ms, rap music and karate.

For Claire Sylvia, it was also just a matter of days after receiving a new heart and lungs that her life began to change. Once a health-conscious dancer, Claire began craving for a cold beer while recovering in hospital. Soon after, she felt a powerful desire for chicken nuggets and began dreaming about her anonymous donor. In these mysterious dream-world encounters, he even identified himself by what would later prove to be his real name.
Claire was soon to learn that her donor, a man in his late teens, was a beer drinker who died in a motorcycle accident with a box of chicken nuggets tucked inside his leather jacket.

Scientists exploring the frontiers of the human body, mind and spirit now believe our habits, personality traits, likes and dislikes, memories, fears and desires are somehow remembered by every one of our body's cells.

Although the conventional medical view is this information can't be transplanted along with a donor organ, revolutionary new scientific research into our body's energy fields forces that conclusion to be revised.

Another extraordinary discovery shows that every cell in our bodies continually absorbs and emits particles of light known as 'biophotons'. Biophotons are weak electromagnetic emissions in the visible range of the light spectrum, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be measured by special detectors recently developed by German scientists. They may serve as every organism's main information carrier - and link us to dynamic information fields which connect the cells, tissues, and organs of our bodies with our minds and memories.

If it really is possible for transplant recipients to inherit traits from their organ donors, could this mean that death is not the end of our personal history? Could the donors be living on inside the bodies of their recipients?

Transplanting Memories is a powerful human story that investigates amazing cases of people who have inherited personal characteristics and memories from their organ donor immediately after transplant surgery. It features donor families who've discovered more than a body part from their loved ones may be living on inside another body and challenges us to reconsider our assumptions about where memories are stored, whether they can be transferred from one individual to another and even survive our bodily death.

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Last Updated Jun 2007