COLUMBUS, Ga. – The widow of a soldier killed in Iraq last week is in a fight against time and her mother-in-law to harvest her husband's sperm before he is embalmed.
Army Sgt. Dayne Darren Dhanoolal was killed on Monday when a roadside bomb tore through the Husky mine-detecting vehicle he was driving in Iraq. The 26-year-old combat engineer was assigned to Fort Benning's 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment and was scheduled to come home just weeks before his death.
Upon his return, his wife, Kynesha Dhanoolal said they planned to start a family. In November, she had surgery to remove uterine fibroid tumors to clear the way for conception.
"Having kids is all we talked about," Dhanoolal told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "I want to look at this child knowing that's him."
On Friday, Kynesha Dhanoolal got a federal court order restraining her husband's mother from embalming the body until she can get his sperm, which she hopes to use to have a child through artificial insemination.
According to her attorney, Frank Myers, the procedure was done on Friday and the sperm will be preserved and maintained by a medical representative until further order of the court.
"We know that the technology is there," Myers said. "We don't know for an actual fact that it's going to work."
Not claiming the sperm before Darren Dhanoolal's body was embalmed would cause the sperm to be lost. His wife was made temporary administrator of his estate on Wednesday, but he died without a will.
Darren Dhanoolal designated his mother as the person authorized to handle his remains upon death. His body was sent to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., on Wednesday.
Kynesha Dhanoolal also wants her husband to have a full military burial at Fort Benning. Currently, plans are for his remains to be sent to Texas, where his mother will handle the funeral arrangements.