Nfld. & Labrador

Sarah Turpin's husband hopes twins released from hospital soon

Peter Russell has had more than any father and husband should have to handle. Last October, his wife Sarah Turpin died within a week of finding out she had cancer. The couple had three young children, two of which are in hospital for respiratory problems.

Peter Russell hoping for quiet family Christmas, the first after losing wife

Peter Russell said that his two boys, Ellis and Grant, are getting better and will hopefully return home soon. (CBC)

Peter Russell has had more to handle than any father and husband should have to.

Back in October, his wife Sarah Turpin died within a week of finding out she had cancer. The couple had three young children.

The story led to a huge reaction from the public, with a number of fund raising efforts being organized to help the family.

Then last week, the couple's twin boys were hospitalized with respiratory infections that caused an asthma attack.

Russell said that the two boys, Ellis and Grant, are on the road to recovery. The tubes that were placed down into their lungs have been removed and they no longer need a ventilator to breathe.

"It's been a really positive 24 hours," he said.

"It's possible they could get out of the intensive care unit today."

He said that respiratory problems run in the family -- both he and his late wife, Sarah, suffered from asthma. The two boys weren't even three month old when they first started having breathing problems.

No room to give up

Despite losing his wife and being left alone to raise his children, Russell isn't letting grief take over.

"It's just one of those things where there's no room for me to give up or take a moment, because these kids need a lot of attention," he said.

"You've got to do it."

Besides the two boys in the hospital, Russell also has a daughter, Rowan, who will soon be turning three.

He said that after a couple of days without her brothers the reality of the situation began to sink in.

"She had a little bit of worry, because her last time she had someone that she loved very much go in hospital they didn't come out," he said.

"Once she got to see the boys she felt a lot better."

Christmas without mommy

While Ellis and Grant have been in the hospital, Rowan has been staying with different family members.

However, with the holiday season just around the corner, Russell said the family is still going to put up a tree and try and celebrate together.

"We're down one family member but we're going to plan on spending just a quiet Christmas together," he said.

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