April 18, 2009
"For sperm to be viable, it must be harvested within 36 hours of death. When Supreme Court Justice Howard Sherman ruled, they had just four hours left....The race against time really began at 3:30 a.m. Thursday when [Johnny] Quintana, a seemingly healthy, 31-year-old concierge and auto mechanic, collapsed and died while watching an episode of NBC's 'The Chopping Block" on a computer with his brother. Through her tears, [his girlfriend Gisela] Marrero remembered their last talk about the future and immediately asked Jacobi [Medical Center] if it would be possible to remove and preserve Quintana's sperm. Under law, it takes a court order. So while Quintana's body was placed in a cooling room and an ice bag was placed on his testicles to preserve his potential progeny, Marrero set about preparing a funeral - and building a legal argument. Much of Thursday was spent frantically calling sperm banks, lawyers and arranging for an emergency hearing before Sherman...."