One of the most heroic ways to die is in the line of duty protecting others. In 2014, Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed in their patrol car. The shooting occurred weeks after a different officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was not indicted by a grand jury in the death of Eric Garner. The shooting was believed to be a revenge killing for the perceived injustice in that case.
Rafael Ramos, 40, was married with two sons and had just been promoted to officer with the NYPD two years prior. A funeral service was held for Ramos, and it was the largest police funeral in the city's history with more than 100,000 people attending.
Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, was a seven-year veteran of the NYPD and had just gotten married to his wife, Pei Xia Chen three months prior to his death. On the night of the shooting, Chen asked for her husband's semen to be frozen, as they had always dreamed of having a family together. According to experts, semen is viable for 24 hours after death and if it's frozen properly it can last forever. Using in vitro fertilization carries a 70-80% success rate for women with normal fertility rates.
Her wishes were followed, and after years of trying she was finally able to conceive.
Continue reading to find out about her mysterious dream surrounding her pregnancy, and why she kept this a secret from her in-laws.
For three years since her husband's death, Pei Chen tried to get pregnant.
“She kept trying, but she was worried about them worrying about her,” Susan Zhuang, chief of staff for Assemblyman William Colton said. “So she didn't tell them until it was successful.”
When she finally got pregnant, Chen remembered a dream she had the night of her husband's murder. In the dream, her late husband was handing her a baby girl.
"I told my friend, ‘It’s going to be a girl,’” Chen said. “My friend said, ‘No, you haven’t even checked the sonograms.’ But I was right.”
Baby Angelina was born July 25 at 4:30 in the morning. The 6lb 13oz bundle of joy is named in memory of her late daddy.
“Her name is Angelina, like an angel, like my son is an angel,” Liu’s mom Xiu Yan Li said via translator. “I'm just so happy.”
“She looks like my daughter-in-law,” Liu said via Cantonese translation Zhuang. “But this part, the eyes and the forehead, looks like my son. The top of the face looks like my son. The bottom looks like her mother. The head looks exactly like my son. I see my son in her."
“We congratulate the Liu family and we welcome the baby into our family with open arms,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association.
Congratulations to the Liu and Chen families on the beautiful addition of Angelina. And thank you to Officers Liu and Ramos for their sacrifice.