Santorum cancels events after admitting daughter to hospital
January 29th, 2012
10:45 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum cancels events after admitting daughter to hospital

(CNN) - Rick Santorum's three-year-old daughter Isabella, who suffers from a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18, was admitted to a Philadelphia hospital Saturday.

In a statement, Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said the GOP presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator would cancel campaign events on Sunday morning.

"Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia this evening," Gidley said. "The campaign will cancel Rick's upcoming Sunday morning Florida campaign schedule. However, Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible."

On Sunday, Team Santorum said the candidate would remain in the hospital Sunday afternoon and that his scheduled events would proceed with surrogates.

Santorum was slated to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" and to make stops in the state ahead of Florida's primary Tuesday.

Trisomy 18 is caused by extra material from chromosome 18, and is three times more common in girls than boys. Half of patients born with the condition do not survive past the first week of life, according to the National Institutes of Health. Patients who do survive past the first week experience serious medical and developmental problems.

On his campaign website, Santorum has a page devoted to his daughter, including a video in which the candidate describes the girl as the "center of the universe for our family."

"Our youngest daughter Isabella Maria, who we call Bella, is a very special girl who needs lot of care," Santorum says in the video. "When she was born we knew something was wrong but we didn't know what it was. It wasn't until five days later that they came back and told Karen and me that she had a disorder called Trisomy 18, which is similar to Down's syndrome."

Santorum describes feeling angry after doctors told him and his wife to prepare for Bella's death in the first days of her life.

"We're going to not focus on her dying; we're going to focus on her living," Santorum says in the video.


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Rick Santorum
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. frank

    This guy is stand up and totally smeared by the left (surprise, surprise). Wishing him success in the campaign and more importantly wishing his daughter and their family health and happiness.

    January 28, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. jay handey

    God be with you and yours...

    January 28, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. KK

    I hope little Bella's stay in the hospital is short, and she's back at home with her family soon.

    I have to wonder how Mr. Santorum felt when at a previous GOP debate, it was basically said that it was people's own fault if they didn't have (or couldn't get or afford) health insurance–and should die. I would imagine that the health care costs of a child with Bella's condition would be high–and if Mr. Santorum was to try and get her insured without things like CHIP and others–she would be without care. Without some sort of guarantee of coverage my guess is should Bella live to 26 when she can no longer be insured by her parent's policy, she's screwed. Also, if Mr. Santorum should lose his job and need to seek coverage on the open market, without the no pre-existing conditions of the new "Obamacare" law, he'd have a very tough time. I would think that strongly Pro-Life candidates would also be pro-medical care for all.

    January 28, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. feloniousmax

    Pretty convenient timing, not saying this is a sham just saying the timing doesn't work against him.

    January 28, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. Cheryl

    The outlook for Trisomy 18 is pretty grim. I'm sure they know this. I'm a dem, but they are in my prayers.

    January 28, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Abe Vigoda

    Thoughts and prayers are with your little girl and your whole family!

    January 28, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  7. Clint, Wa.

    Best wishes that everything will be ok, and that she will have a speedy recover.

    January 28, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. Wally Balloo

    I may not agree with most of what you have to say, but I hope your child will be alright.

    January 28, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Ramon F. Herrera

    I am surprised! I thought fundamentalists didn't allow their children to be treated by doctors...

    January 28, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. Meli A

    According to recent numbers, Rick Santorum and Gingrich do not have the supporting votes to move forward. I would like to see Rick Santorum be asked who he would like to endorse. I suggest Santorum endorse Ron Paul. Paul has the support and continues to grow.

    January 28, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  11. TXMM

    Sending my prayers for Bella and her family. While I often disagree with Mr .Santorum, i wish nothing but the best for his family. Love for a child is universal transcends politics.

    January 28, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Steven Bullington

    Rick and Karen, Bella will be in all our prayers tonight and at church tomorrow!

    January 28, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Life on life's terms

    I hope ella is ok.

    January 28, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. ms

    I may not agree with your politics...but as a parent i wish little Isabella the best as well as your family. God bless :)

    January 28, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. Panther

    Although, I do not share Santorum views, my prayers are with him and his family.

    January 28, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  16. uponthisrock

    This is the kind of man we need in office. He doesn't have bucket loads of cash, he doesn't croon with "insiders" in Washington, he is a family man, he has problems beyond his ability that he trusts in God for. I am sick of the fillthy rich
    (Romney) and the old worn out insiders (Ginkrich). We need a down to Earth man who has the people in mind and can
    connect with the average Joe. Vote as you like but in the end "You get the leader you deserve".

    January 28, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. Cindy Bradley

    Can't stand the guy, but your heart has to break for any parent going through this.

    January 28, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. Keith

    I may not agree with your politics, but I heartily extend my best wishes for you and your daughter.

    January 28, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. Anna

    My daughter, Kendall, lived for 42 glorious hourss. We found out when I was 19 weeks pregnant that she had Trisomy 18. Hearing Bella's story made me smile. I pray for the whole family and that she will be home soon.

    January 28, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. American Teenager

    I hope his daughter will be okay. My heart and prayers go out to that family. And everyone else on this post try to be polite this family is going throughlaot right now.

    January 28, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  21. GH

    Rick Santorum is the political opposite of me but it's very sad for any father or family to go through such turmoil.

    My thoughts and wishes go out to Bella.

    January 28, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  22. farmertx

    Much as I dislike Santorum, I hope the best for him in this trying situation. Comes under the heading, life sucks.

    January 28, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  23. American Teenager

    Sorry typo, I meant to say "alot right now"

    January 28, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Meli A

    Best wishes for his family... Ron Paul would do very well against Obama and therefore should be nominated by the GOP. Dr. Paul is a uniter, not a divider like all other candidates. To prove this theory, I put this question forward (to all voters), DOES ANY PARTY HAVE ANY REASON NOT TO TRUST Ron Paul??? The answer is "NO". As such, this honesty is EXACTLY what this country needs. Someone to "lead" not be bought off or corrupted

    January 28, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. SG

    As a democrat and liberal, I started with a very negative opinion of Santorum.. but not so much anymore. This guy is a very awesome human being, and while I still disagree with his stand on social issues, I'd be inclined to vote for him based solely based on how straightforward and decent this person this – not to mention, an excellent dad.

    January 28, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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