Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Sunday, 19 April 2009 08:37 UK

US woman gets dead fiance's sperm

Generic electron micrograph of human sperm cells
Human sperm can remain fresh up to 36 hours after a man's death

A New York woman has won a race-against-the-clock legal bid to harvest her dead fiance's sperm.

Gisela Marrero told a Bronx court her partner had spoken about having another child with her only the day before his death from a suspected heart attack.

She had only 36 hours to collect 31-year-old Johnny Quintana's semen before it would have become unusable.

As the couple were unmarried she needed a court order, which was granted just four hours before the deadline.

After the Bronx State Supreme Court approved her request, sperm bank employees raced to a local medical centre, where the body of the dead mechanic, who died on Thursday, was stored.

'Last wish'

Ms Marrero, who has a two-year-old son by Mr Quintana, said: "The day before he passed away, we talked about planning for our future, buying an apartment and having another child," reported the New York Daily News.

"This was his wish. It's the last thing I can do for him."

There were emotional scenes in the court as Ms Marrero and her dead fiance's family celebrated Friday afternoon's decision.

Earlier this month, a mother in Texas won a legal bid to have her dead son's sperm harvested after he died in a fight outside a bar, so she could have the option of carrying out his wish to have children.

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