ROANOKE - A Roanoke man who had been in critical condition since an Oct. 14 car wreck in Franklin County died last Thursday, according to his family and state police.
Rufus Arthur McGill II, 19, crashed his mother's 2005 Cadillac near Boones Mill last month. The wreck, which involved six people, killed Hannah M. Long, a 15-year-old Liberty High School student.
McGill, who went by Sonny, had been on life support at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. McGill's parents, Rufus and Jerri McGill, wanted to harvest his sperm in order to have grandchildren.
Jerri McGill said Saturday that they will not be able to harvest their son's sperm because getting a court order would take several days. McGill said she was told by doctors that the sperm would have to be extracted and frozen within 24 to 36 hours after her son's death.
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Doctors declared Rufus McGill II brain dead about 6 p.m. Thursday, Jerri McGill said. Doctors informed the McGills about five hours later that although their son was an organ donor, they would not be able to use his organs because his heart was failing.
"His heart was giving out and his blood pressure was raised," Jerri McGill said. "They weren't able to save his organs."
Doctors may still be able to save his eyes and tissue, she said.
The McGills, who are divorced but on amicable terms, had agreed that keeping alive the possibility of grandchildren through their son would be a positive thing.
"I'm very saddened that I'm not going to have a piece of him with me," Jerri McGill said. "I do have a younger son that's 17 who always says he's never having kids. That might change, but I'm not guaranteed to have grandchildren from him because what if he meets a woman who is not fertile or, God forbid, what if he can't have children?"
According to McGill, Roanoke Memorial's ethics committee is working on a policy for harvesting sperm from patients. If such a policy is created, she said, it will help loved ones complete the process in a timely manner.
"I think if something can come out of this, as cliché as it sounds, justice has been done," McGill said. "And then he didn't die in vain."