- DeSantis spoke 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 cried during the interview.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is slowly filling in some of the details he left out in his new memoir, “The Courage to Be Free.”
In an interview that aired Thursday on Fox Nation’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” DeSantis speaks for the first time about his only brother, Christina DeSantis, who tragically died in 2015 of a sudden illness at the age of 30 in London.
DeSantis cried while talking about Christina, Morgan wrote in excerpts from the interview published Wednesday in the New York Post.
“It was just an overwhelming experience,” DeSantis said. “I remember my mom calling me, my wife and I were on our way home from church one Sunday morning, and she said Christina was in the hospital and she had a blood clot. but that she was stable.”
But after being in hospital for a few days, Christina developed a fatal pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot blocks the arteries around the lungs. DeSantis said he turned to his Catholic faith amid his grief.
“You start questioning things that are unfair, 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 going to 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 only mentioned Christina once, at the beginning of the book, but doesn’t share whether they were close or the details of her tragic death.
When she died, Christina was engaged to Stephen Pasiewicz, a British 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 soon to be married. Casey and I were thrilled to have her embark on the next chapter of 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, with her parents and in-laws.
DeSantis said in his interview with Morgan that he and his sister were seven years apart and 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 served as 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 his death, DeSantis was launching a bid for the U.S. Senate, but would later drop out of the race after Republican Senator 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’d probably be “involved in a lot of the things we were doing,” DeSantis said, referring to her work in Florida.
“You have your brother, their future was stolen and that’s something I wish I could get back,” DeSantis told Morgan. “I know she probably would have gone back to Florida.”