West Point Cadet’s Family Hopes to Preserve His Sperm to Have Grandchildren After His Death
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York is mourning the death of Peter Zhu, a cadet who suffered fatal injuries from a skiing accident.
Zhu, a member of the Class of 2019, was found unresponsive on a ski slope on February 23 at the Victor Constant Ski Area within the academy grounds.
Members of the ski patrol responded and performed first-aid on the 21-year-old cadet before he was taken to the hospital and airlifted to Westchester for further treatment, according to Army Times.
“I wish to extend to his family the sincere and profound sympathy of the U. S. Military Academy and all members of this command. We lost a brother today, and the pain will be felt for a long time,” Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zhu family during this difficult time,” Brig. Gen. Steve Gilland, commandant of cadets, added. “The entire West Point community is heartbroken over this tragedy. Peter was one of the top cadets in the Class of 2019, very well-known and a friend to all. He embodied the ideals of the Corps of Cadets and its motto of Duty, Honor, Country and all who knew Peter will miss him.”
The Bay Area Parents of West Point Cadet Peter Zhu are asking a New York judge to help them preserve his legacy. They’re asking for a court order to extract sperm from his body before his organs are harvested. pic.twitter.com/v1AHrF1ayx
Before succumbing to his injuries, the cadet’s family made an appeal to the state court requesting to preserve his sperm for cultural reasons.
“When Peter was alive, he often told us how he wanted children of his own one day, and that he wanted to give us grandchildren,” Zhu’s parents said in the court appeal, USA Today reported. “It is also important to carry on Peter’s legacy for deeply personal cultural reasons as well.”
“Our family comes from China and an extremely important part of our Chinese culture is the tradition of carrying on our family lineage,” the family continued. “Without obtaining genetic material from Peter’s body, it will be impossible to carry on our family’s lineage, and our family name will die.”
Volunteers, friends and company mates all gathered to climb the ski slope in West Point where the accident occurred on Saturday to pay tribute to Zhu, NBC New York reported.
Zhu, a president of the Cadet Medical Society from Concord, California, was set to receive a commission as a Medical Corps officer. He was looking forward to attending the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences for medical school, officials said.
The cadet, who is also an organ donor, served on the Regimental Staff during his first semester of his senior year.