Tony Deane's parents regret son's testes being removed after death.

The parents of a Queensland man who had his testes removed after he died say they have been devastated by the ordeal.

Key points:

  • Tony Deane’s partner Leith Patteson applied to have his testes removed and frozen after he died in April
  • Mr Deane’s mother Gaye says the process has been devastating
  • Family plans to fight any court application for Mr Deane’s sperm to be used to impregnate Ms Patteson

Tony Deane’s partner Leith Patteson applied to the Supreme Court hours after he died unexpectedly in April this year to have his testes removed and frozen, so she could one day apply to use the sperm to fall pregnant.

The court was given several sworn affidavits from the couple’s friends, who said they had already tried to conceive a child and were “ecstatic” when they thought they had fallen pregnant.

The pair met online in September 2015 and became engaged a month later after Mr Deane moved from New Zealand to Toowoomba west of Brisbane.

Lawyers for the man’s parents, who had flown to their son’s Toowoomba Hospital bed from New Zealand, said it was in the interest of justice not to object to the application in court.

A letter from the woman’s lawyer said if the family consented to the removal of the testes, she would not oppose the family’s wish to return Mr Deane’s body to New Zealand.

His mother Gaye Deane spoke for the first time, saying the process had been devastating.

“If we had our way we would have liked our boy brought home in one piece,” she said.

“I believe that Tony would not have wanted a child brought into this world if he could not be there to raise it.”

Tissue unusable after 24 hours

The court said it had to make a swift decision about the removal of Mr Deane’s testes, because the tissue became unusable 24 hours after death.

“If an application for use for the purposes of fertilisation is made, the orders proposed today will ensure that such an application will not be rendered futile,” the decision read.

Ms Deane said she was not given enough time to consider her position.


“As I was driving into the funeral home driveway I had a call from the police.

“That was the first time I had actually really known that [Ms Patteson] had made an application for Tony’s sperm.

“Finding out from the police was a real shock.

“For her to turn around and get his testes removed, that was a big slap in the face.”

Rare case in Queensland

The case is one of only a few in Queensland’s history.

The state’s law requires an application to the Supreme Court immediately after death to secure the deceased’s testes, and a separate application to be made if the sperm is to be used.

Ms Deane said her family misses Tony every day.

“We struggle every day,” she said.

“Tony was a family guy, very much liked to be a part of the family.

“He was a very highly regarded employee at work, very much missed.

“He had always wanted to find love.”

The court ruled the man’s testes were to be kept at an IVF facility of the woman’s choice.

Ms Deane said if there was a court application to use her son’s sperm, her family would fight it.

“It’s something that we hope will never happen,” Ms Deane said.

Ms Patteson’s lawyers were contacted for comment.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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