Newlywed firefighter loses his wife one hour after she gave birth to twins

Junie Sihlangu
Apr 23, 2018
12:22 P.M.
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Nick Reeder and his wife of just five months were both looking forward to the new additions to the family. The pair was thrilled when they found out they were expecting twins.


Their joy soon turned into a tragedy when Amanda Sawyer gave birth on April 9, 2018. Daily Mail reported that she had a brain aneurysm which caused her death.

April 9 was a great day for Amanda Sawyer, 37, and firefighter Nick Reeder. They welcomed twin girls Kelce and Kaia in Fresno, California.

This was just five months after their wedding in November 2017. The newlyweds, who had been together for four years, were already parents to three children.


They had two from previous relationships, Caleb, 11, and Anistyn, 6, and one that they had together, a daughter named Layla, 3. Throughout the birth of their twins, Sawyer was very healthy and even formed a bond with her unborn children.

While bonding with them, she began feeling ill minutes after giving birth and passed out. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and within an hour she had died from what doctors later learned was a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Reeder has now had to adjust to his new life as a single father to the newborn twins and the couple's three other children. The babies had been scheduled to be delivered by cesarean section earlier this month at Clovis Community Medical Center.



'She knew their personalities and their names. Now that I've met them, she was spot on.'

Nick Reeder, Sacremento Bee, April 16, 2018

The doctors did everything they could but were unable to save her life. A brain aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel in the brain weakens and swells. 


Sawyer's aneurysm had ruptured during childbirth, causing bleeding that led to a stroke. Only 20 percent of aneurysms can be detected with scans, and pregnancy has been found to increase the risk of rupture. 

Reeder shared with ABC 7 that he believed he could get through this difficult time as he was a fireman and was used to fixing things. He did, however, acknowledge that he wouldn’t be able to do it by himself.


Since her death, the community has rallied around him and his family. They’ve raised more than $38,000 through a GoFundMe page and are planning meals for them through the month of May.

'What should have been a beautiful moment in Nick and Amanda's life turned bittersweet in a matter of moments,' said Katherine Justice-Straps, who set up the page. Reeder shared his story in an effort to raise awareness for maternal mortality.