PUEBLO – Justin Spellman says the grief hasn’t hit him as rough yet as the rest of his family, so he’s currently the most level-headed to address the tragic death of his half-sister, Sara Sewald, 26, hours after delivering a healthy set of twins.
“I want the world to know that my little sister was an amazing person,” Spellman said Sunday from his Pueblo home. Sewald’s story went viral last week after being featured nationally in People magazine, FOX News, and on NBC’s Today. The attention has helped a GoFundMe for the twins’ father, Dustin Cisneros, generate more than four times its goal of $12,000.
Sewald began experiencing pregnancy complications on May 29. “She was feeling light-headed, she was seeing double, she was extremely swollen, but she didn’t know what was going on,” Spellman said. She was rushed to UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs where an emergency C-section was performed to delivery the twins, Ryan and Charlotte, prematurely.
Following delivery, Sewald wouldn’t stop bleeding. “I knew she had a little bit of extra bleeding that they couldn’t control, but nobody had made it seem like a big deal,” Spellman said. Sewald was transferred to Intensive Care, but her condition did not improve. “4:30 I get a call that her heart had stopped, 4:40 I got the call that she had passed,” Spellman said.
Sewald, a first-time mother, was soon to be engaged to Cisneros. “Mentally, she was ready to become a mother,” Spellman said, “and how excited she was is an understatement.”
Despite claiming he’s remaining strongest so far among family members in the wake of Sewald’s death, Spellman became emotional when talking about the little things he’ll miss about her. “I still expect that text message that I would get. Just some random, stupid question she always had, or a phone call. I think that’s the hardest thing for me to swallow is that I’m not going to get that,” Spellman said.
Spellman says the family hasn’t gotten a straight answer from doctors about why Sewald died. Preeclampsia, a pregnancy condition characterized by high blood pressure, hypertension, and organ damage, is suspected, but Spellman says he hasn’t seen a death certificate. “What exactly is going on? Is this something that we can fix for the rest of people, because I don’t want somebody else to go through this pain,” Spellman said.
The twins, Ryan and Charlotte, are currently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but are healthy.