An explanation: Creating life after death

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by JANET ST. JAMES / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 18 at 1:46 PM

BEDFORD — A Bedford woman is winning her battle to create a life after death.

Missy Evans' son, Nikolas, died after an assault outside of an Austin bar last year.

She arranged for a doctor to collect her son's sperm after his death, and now she is hoping to use a surrogate mother to become a grandma.

The process to have a child through a surrogate is complicated — and expensive.

In this case, it started in court, where Missy Evans said she had to legally get her son's collected sperm put into her name.

That was a first in the state of Texas, she believes.

Now she won't have to legally adopt the grandchild she hopes will soon be on the way.

"I had hundreds and hundreds of people who found my e-mail and phone," Evans said, hoping that one of them could help create her grandchild using sperm harvested from her 21-year-old son.

Fertility experts say collecting sperm after the donor has died is iffy under the best of these rare circumstances.

The organs of Nikolas Evans were harvested a full day before his sperm was.

Dr. Samuel Chantilis and the lab experts at Texas Health Dallas help reproductively-challenged couples have children every day, but the Evans case may present special hurdles.

"Once you reach six hours, 12 hours, I think you'd really have to question the viability of the sperm," Dr. Chantilis said.

He said that once Missy Evans conquers the legal and ethical battles, she'll have to find an egg donor who is willing to undergo a grueling series of injections, tests, and procedures.

"By the time they're done with just the egg donation process, the stimulation, insemination, you're looking at probably $20,000 — and this before you've found the gestational carrier," Dr. Chantilis said.

Missy Evans says she's planning to hire an agency that specializes in surrogates. She knows the total cost could easily exceed $50,000.

But she hopes — in the end — to have a grandchild as priceless as the son she lost.

Fertility experts say sperm harvested after death is rare occurrence, but it has been done before — typically after a sudden accident and at the request of a wife.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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