12/03/2014 03:55 EST | Updated 02/02/2015 05:59 EST

Sarah Turpin's twins in hospital, as family gets outpouring of support

The family of Sarah Turpin, a woman who died from cancer just one week after being diagnosed, has received an outpouring of support, but now two of the children are in hospital in St. John's with serious breathing problems.

CBC News on Tuesday carried the story of Peter Russell, who lost his wife this fall, just days after she was diagnosed with cancer. Now their twin toddlers Ellis and Grant are in the hospital.

The twin boys, Ellis and Grant, will be two years old in January.

Russell said the twins each had a respiratory infection that triggered an asthma attack.

The boys were rushed to the Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's on Monday, where they were sedated and put in intensive care. They've been intubated since being admitted, and remain sedated.

The twins were born premature and have had respiratory issues since then. Their mother was a severe asthmatic.

According to the family, Ellis and Grant developed chest colds over the weekend that triggered their asthma.

The children's grandmother says the ordeal is particularly hard on Rowan, their older sister, who remembers the last time someone went to the hospital it was her mother, who never came back out again.

Rowan will celebrate her third birthday on New Year's Eve.

Huge support

The hospitalization adds a new trouble for a family that has already been through several ordeals.

Since the family's story aired on CBC's Here and Now Tuesday, people have come forward to share their stories on social media and news sites.

A group that organized a fundraising effort by selling Christmas cards, with proceeds going to the family, said there is such high demand they're waiting on a new shipment to arrive to fill requests.

Thousands of dollars has also been donated to a second fundraising campaign, called For Sarah's Kids.

By Wednesday evening, more than $64,000 had been pledged to the online campaign.

Family and friends are asking people to keep them in their minds and prayers, as the twins remain in hospital Wednesday night.