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. W0ofy

    Hate to hear that. Wish her and her family well. But I ain't voting for him.

    January 28, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  2. T'sah From Virginia

    My prayers and thoughts go out to the Santorum family. Even though there are differences in belief, family is important in all of our lives! I hope Bella gets well soon!!!

    January 28, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  3. JRH

    Trisomy 18 is a horrible genetic defect. I feel very sorry for the child and her family and wish them well. Being angry at physicians for telling parents the truth about the prognosis for their child is pointless. Doctors don't know everything, but they do have lots of experience with T18 to go on, and statistically such children rarely live much beyond birth. Clearly the Santorums' child is an exception, but those exceptions are very rare. They gave the best information they had.

    January 28, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. Mark

    I may not agree with his positions but I sure hope the haters show some class and keep it clean – its just little girl, don't take your hate out on her or the family.

    January 28, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  5. Ken Crow

    Our thoughts and prayers go to Rick and his family. I've been following him and the things he stands for. Why people havent rallied behind him with support is beyond my comprehension. This country has so few like him who are ready to stand up and serve. Of all the candidates on either side...this one has them all outmatched...in all categories but one. Money!

    January 28, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  6. john locke

    Remember, god gives us adversity to make us better people!

    January 28, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  7. Brian

    I don't much like Santorum but I hope his little girl make it through..

    January 28, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  8. Jon

    I'm sorry to hear that. I don't like Santorum much, but his daughter doesn't deserve that kind of pain.

    January 28, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. Sandy

    thats what loving parents do. praying for Bella.
    God bless all of your family!

    January 28, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Daniel

    I am definitely not a conservative, nor would I ever consider voting for Mr. Santorum, but I hope the little girl is okay.

    January 28, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. DanW

    Wishing the family the best.

    January 28, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. scott

    I truly feel for the santorums. I have a trisomy 21 girl who had alot of severe complications when born and still goes through life. The doctors told me similar words that their hearing. Look to jesus and trust in his will and pray. Praying for your daughter and family.

    January 28, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  13. dubya

    All politics aside i wish only the best for bella and santorum family! God bless

    January 28, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  14. laura

    This gives him some good points from me that he has a love for special kids. God bless you bella and keep fighting through!!!

    January 28, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  15. sarahfalin

    The only answer for her is through prayer..not science.

    January 28, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  16. genia

    You would think Palin would back another candadate that understands special needs children since she has one also.Gingrich with a mistress wife, I don't think so. I have a disabled daughter and a special needs, so I want people that understand what that is in office.A Missouri Mom

    January 28, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. me

    before the trolls arrive. im glad that he puts family before campaign. that is a sign of true character. and yea go ahead and comment on my grammar errors. its nice to see sincerity in this world especially between a father and his daughter.

    January 28, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  18. Soylent

    I couldn't disagree with this guy more about pretty much everything, but I wish him and his family the best of luck. The prognosis for children with Edwards Syndrome is so bad, and this has to be a fear he's lived with every day since his daughter was born. Try to keep the politics out of this one and pull for a guy with a sick kid.

    January 28, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. Drew

    Great, he's gonna try what Obama did back it 2012

    January 28, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  20. AcclaimedMan

    I wish she gets well and you all around her rejoice back to your lives with all the love and affection for her. Get well Isabella. Let Thy Divine do the miracle for your life and your family. May Thy God bless your family !!!!

    January 28, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  21. Rational

    Don't worry, the lord will fix everything.

    January 28, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. Moonbeam

    I certainly wish the best for the poor little girl and know her parents must have endured much heartbreak over her condition. However, I wonder how her father would feel if he was like so many working class parents who cannot get health insurance for their children who have such a pre-existing condition. Yet his political views would deny those children.

    Sure, if either parent is on a group plan, they can get a child covered. But if on a private plan themselves, such as the self-employed parents, they would likely be unable to get their child the quality of health care that Rick Santorum's child is receiving. However, Barak Obama's health care reform will remedy that by offering such parents a chance to buy into the insurance exchange being set up in 2014, so they can join the same pool that federal employees have if they so choose. Many private insurance companies are part of that pool, and such people who join the exchance will be able to choose from any of those companies they wish - in no way is that socialized medicine. In fact, it is not even as liberal as the universal single pay coverage that Massachusetts has.

    January 28, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. Anthony

    Thoughts and prayers are with you Bella, hope that you get well soon.

    January 28, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. Smiley

    Best wishes from a liberal. The family has my thoughts and respect.

    January 28, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  25. DBA

    While I disagree profoundly with just about everything that Mr. Santorum says & believes, I can only wish he & his family continue to find the help they will need while caring for their little girl. I also hope this hospitalization isn't for a life-threatening situation, and that she gets to come home again.

    Having never heard of Trisomy 18, I googled it and that led me to Trisomy 16, and Trisomy 13 and on and on..... Wow! It's really stunning just how much can go wrong during conception and fetal development: thank your lucky stars if you have children with only the normal number of chromosomes.

    January 28, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
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