Santorum cancels events after admitting daughter to hospital
January 29th, 2012
10:45 AM ET
3 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. Lordloveaduck

    Hope she is ok. Wish the family well.

    January 29, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  2. james

    As much as I disagree with your politics...but sincerely understand how difficult this is for your family. I hope she will pull through.

    January 29, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. Nancy M.

    Hoping that your daughter gets better. God Bless.

    January 29, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. cali girl

    I will pray for strength for your family, and may the doctors have the knowledge to help. Gods speed.

    January 29, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  5. Daniel

    I'll be thinking of and praying for Bella and the Santorum family. This sort of thing transcends politics.

    January 29, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. Larry L

    I wish her the very best! I also wish every child in America had access to good healthcare.

    January 29, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  7. Pest

    That is why women should not have children when they are middle aged, particularly if they already have umpteen other children. People involved i this sort of irresponsibility should certainly not be considered for president.

    January 29, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. DENNA

    Rick, go home and take care of your child. You are wasting your time and your donors money. Take care of your family.

    January 29, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. Mike

    I hope that we can all wait until a later time to make Rick Santorum jokes, snide comments, and criticisms.

    Right now, let him be a dad of a sick child, rather than the polarizing political figure that most of us know him as.

    January 29, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. bonnie

    bella will be in our thoughts and prayers

    January 29, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  11. koko

    Hoping she gets well!

    January 29, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. philtration

    Since Santorum has a nice government pension paid for with our tax dollars he does not have to worry about health insurance like the rest of us.
    What do you think something like this would do to the average American Rick?

    You don't care.

    January 29, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. Nick

    Hope she makes it out OK.

    January 29, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. azmat zaman

    May the Lord Jesus Christ keep the baby safe.Santorum keep faith and hold on, our God will not let you down.Bella will blossom into a beautiful flower. Amen.
    best wishes
    Azmat

    January 29, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  15. Kyle

    Of all the candidates I'm not voting for, I really respect Senator Santorum. My heart and prayers go to him and his family.

    January 29, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  16. Name. N. Vinny Veritas

    Best Wishes and sincere prayers for Bella's quick recovery-

    January 29, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Google Santorum

    The kid must have done something evil. Kids just don't get sick, right Ricky? She's being punished! Sanatorium is a nutbag.

    January 29, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. Consequence

    While i do not think Santorum is the best candidate for President, his example to us all is noteworthy. He definitely has his priorities straight.

    January 29, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Curious James

    Such a heartbreaking story. Though I might be a Democrat, and not a Santorum fan or supporter politically, I am a father myself – my sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to Bella and her entire family. It's always uplifting and encouraging to hear how some parents respond with boundless hope and fierce determination when faced with such difficulty affecting their children. Stay strong, Santorum family. All the best.

    January 29, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Hey my name is keshia just pray ever day an nite everthing going be ok god is the key to all answers in her condition i will keep her n my prayer remember she is a angel of god an his angels is watching over her

    January 29, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  21. American

    My thoughts and prayers are with Bella and the Santorum family!

    January 29, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  22. careangel

    Asking for prayers for Rick Santorum's little 3 yr old daughter. She is in the hospital.

    January 29, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  23. Kathy Cook

    Rick I am praying for your daughter to get well, and praying for your family, I really like to hear you on the debates, we need for people like you that puts jesus first in there lives. I to love jesus and pray that you WIN this race. you have my vote you care for what the people need, I will watch for you in tx. you have allot of love to give. we need you and jesus back into the white house. GOD BLESS YOU.

    January 29, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  24. Robert

    This is a very sad story. Although I do not intend on voting for Rick Santorum, I wish him and his family all the best through this difficult time.

    January 29, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  25. marcelle brown

    we are praying for Bella and you
    are in our thoughts..

    January 29, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
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