Just Another Guy with Opinions

Widow Gets Husband’s Sperm

Posted by shadmia on April 14, 2008

Army Sgt. Dayne D. Dhanoolal 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; died March 31 in Baghdad from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

His wife, Kynesha Dhanoolal, petitioned the court and received permission for the removal of some of her husband’s sperm before his body was embalmed by the military. The procedure took place 4 days after her husband’s death. She hopes to use the sperm to bear his child. However medical experts say that it is highly unlikely that the sperm is still viable.

Sperm maintain nearly normal movement and some function for the first three hours after a man’s death. After that, their movement and viability declines, according to the website for the department of urology at Cornell University’s Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College.

Recovery of viable sperm appears relatively uncommon after 24 hours post-mortem unless the body has been cooled, the Cornell site says. It was not known what, if any, precautions were taken to keep Dhanoolal’s body sufficiently cool before his sperm were extracted.

Dr John Park, a fertility expert and assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine, said there have been reports of viable sperm being retrieved up to 36 hours after a man’s death. But he said it is “highly unlikely” any viable sperm could be retrieved four days later.

According to Kynesha Dhanoolal, she and her husband had frequently discussed having children and were hoping to conceive when he returned from Iraq. In November, Dhanoolal had surgery to remove uterine fibroid tumors so that she could conceive with her husband upon his return.

Initially there was resistance from the soldier’s mother, Monica Mary Brown, of Killeen, Texas, to having her son’s sperm removed. Sgt. Dhanoolal died without a will, but prior to his death, he signed an Army-issued DD Form 93 designating Brown, his mother, as the person authorized to handle his remains upon death. Kynesha took the matter to court.

U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land issued a temporary restraining order barring Brown, from “embalming, altering or otherwise disposing of” his remains until a medical representative for Kynesha Dhanoolal could extract his sperm. The procedure was done 4 days after the soldier’s death. The sample is in the custody of the widow’s medical representative. The two women have since made up.

“I think there was a grief reaction from everyone,” said Frank Myers, Kynesha’s attorney. “The family has talked and everyone is in agreement.”

Yvonne Watkins, Kynesha’s mother said her daughter needs time, to recover emotionally and physically before she attempts artificial insemination. “It’s going to be awhile,” Watkins said. “Her body has to heal from surgery and her mind from the mental stress.”

For more on Army Sgt. Dayne D. Dhanoolal check these links:

R.I.P. Dayne Dhanoolal. Click below for video.

Dayne Dhanoolal is survived by his parents and three sisters, including one deployed to the nation where her brother was killed. Reports said three hours before Dhanoolal was killed, he text-messaged his 28-year-old wife, Kynesha, to tell her he loved her. It was the last thing he said to her.

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