- DeSantis opened up for the first time about the sudden death of his sister, Christina, at age 30.
- “It’s something I wish I could get back,” the Florida governor said.
- DeSantis teared up during the interview.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is slowly filling in some of the details he left out of his new memoir, “The Courage to be Free.”
In an interview set to air Thursday on Fox Nation’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” DeSantis opens up for the first time about his only sibling, Christina DeSantis, who tragically died in 2015 from a sudden illness at the age of 30 while in London.
DeSantis teared up as he spoke about Christina, Morgan wrote in excerpts of the interview published Wednesday in the New York Post.
“It was just a shattering experience,” DeSantis said. “I remember my mom calling me, my wife and I were on our way back from church on a Sunday morning, and she said that Christina was in the hospital and she had a blood clot but was stable.”
But after being in the hospital for a couple of days, Christina developed a fatal pulmonary embolism, which happens when a blood clot blocks the arteries around the lungs. DeSantis said he turned to his Catholic faith amid his grief.
“You start to question things that are unjust, like ‘Why did this have to happen?’ And you just have to have faith that there’s a plan in place, trust in God, there’s no guarantee that you’re gonna have a life without challenges and without heartbreak and that’s just a function of being human.”
The moment is a rare glimpse into DeSantis’ personal life. The governor has a reputation for being aloof and has received backlash for his more controversial policies. His wife, Casey DeSantis, often shares a softer side of her husband through her own voice.
In “The Courage to Be Free,” DeSantis mentioned Christina only once, early in the book, but doesn’t share whether they were close, or the details of her tragic death.
When she died, Christina had been engaged to Stephen Pasiewicz, a British film editor. The last time DeSantis spoke about his sister in depth appears to be in a Facebook post after her death.
“She made her family and friends proud,” DeSantis wrote. “She found her true love, Stephan, and was set to be married soon. Casey and I were thrilled for her to begin the next chapter in her life; a vibrant and exciting future awaited the happy couple.”
According to CSPAN footage from 2013, Christina came to her brother’s swearing-in ceremony for the US House in Washington, DC, along with his parents and in laws.
DeSantis said in his interview with Morgan that he and his sister were seven years apart and that she looked up to him.
He described his sister to Morgan as “very successful.” Christina received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Florida State University and was a financial consultant for KPMG in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to her LinkedIn page. When Christina died, DeSantis’ family set up an account in her name to fund a scholarship to Florida state.
Christina died before DeSantis became governor. At the time of her death, DeSantis was launching a bid for the US Senate but would later withdraw from the race after Republican Sen. Marco Rubio lost the 2016 presidential nomination and decided to run to keep his seat.
“People have their whole lives ahead of them and when you’re talking about that age, it’s a big tragedy,” DeSantis told Morgan. If she were still alive, she would probably be “involved in a lot of stuff that we were doing,” DeSantis said, referring to his work in Florida.
“You have your sibling, their future was robbed and it’s something I wish I could get back,” DeSantis told Morgan. “I know she probably would have moved back to Florida.”