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. Lynn

    I feel by Santorum taking time off and making for his family is a VERY selfless act.It show true meaning of putting family first before politics.He got my vote! AND my prayers goes out to him and his family...AMEN!

    January 29, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  2. Arden Cogar

    I wish the very best luck to Bella;I shall be praying for her. May God bless her with health and a speedy recovery.

    January 29, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  3. EG

    bestwisheatoher!

    January 29, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  4. E

    I may not agree with Santorum's politics, but I hope his daughter is okay. Get better Isabella <3

    January 29, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  5. emal9773

    I wish the Santorum family nothing but my best wishes for Bella's health to improve so that she can return home to her family. Though I disagree with Rick Santorum on just about every issue, this is not the place for snark. It has got to be just about the worst thing on earth to watch your child struggle.

    January 29, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  6. Mike

    Oh no. I dislike Santorum, but this is awful news. I wish the best to him and his family. I actually have tears coming on a little bit. This should be an exciting time in Mr. Santorum's life, not tragic. I hope the best.

    January 29, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  7. Joe

    Rick, our prayers are with Bella and your family.

    God Bless

    Joe

    January 29, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  8. DAN from PA

    My daughter has special needs and I can't imagine what the Santorum family is going through .Despite the fact that the Republican party lost me a long time ago because they would,and have cut funding for disabilites such as autisim; I will prey for Bella and the Santorum's.I will also prey that some day Republicans will have the wisdom to know the diferrence between common sense funding that helps families create productive members of society,because churches don't pay for OT,PT,or speech therapy. DAN from PA

    January 29, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  9. lori

    I am sorry that their child is going through a terrible health issue. I want to be sure that we have information proving the condition. It was my understanding that this condition that is listed has a very low birth rate. Less than 3 percent. Of those most children die within hours. This is such a rare disease and so fatal are we sure this was reported correctly? There are several other genetic conditions with similar names that are viable. Trisomy 13 maybe?

    January 29, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  10. stars

    I hope your daughter feel better soon. And you need to stop playing like you are a christan your action and what u speak prove that you are not.

    January 29, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  11. tu padre

    Best wishes to the Santorum family. I hope everything is okay.

    January 29, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  12. tim heller

    God bless your family Mr. Santorum. This country desperately needs a genuine man like you leading us. Bella needs you more at the present. I'll be praying for all of your family. I have faith that Bella will be with you at your innauguration in 2016.

    January 29, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  13. Nitaya Luu

    Dear Mr. Santorum, my prayer is with your family during this difficult time. I would like to use the same facebook I learned from pastor Joyce this week. When fear knocks at the door, answer with faith, and you did just that.

    January 29, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  14. joe s.

    he's lucky his family has health care. imagine if someone suffered like his daughter does but lacked health care. he doesnt care about that, he would rather other peoples' kids suffer unnecessarily

    January 29, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  15. ErinL

    Hope she'll be ok.

    January 29, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  16. Dan

    This guy represents the worst in so-called Christianity. He and his wife sicken me for leaving their sick child with a nanny for weeks at a time while they campaigned for what was the biggest long-shot in history, Santorum becoming the GOP presidential nominee (let along him beating Obama). Rick, give it up and be with your dying little girl before its too late.

    January 29, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  17. Hank

    Best of wishes for the entire Santorum family!

    God bless, and we hope that Bella gets better soon. She will be in our prayers.

    January 29, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. joey2shoes

    God bless your daughter and your family.

    January 29, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  19. B

    My heart goes out to Bella and she should come first. Santorum suspend your campaign!

    January 29, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  20. quinnth

    I don't like Santorum but I wish his daughter a speedy recovery

    January 29, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  21. Fonseka

    Family members are important than politics or any other thing.

    January 29, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  22. Dingo Kidney

    It's good he has health insurance.

    January 29, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  23. eric ramriez

    I hope your daughter gets better. Thanks for all your service in gov't

    January 29, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  24. davec

    He did the right thing. Please pray for his daughter as I am.

    January 29, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. Edwin

    I've heard of it, and I am surprised she is still alive... as they said, most children do not survive very long with the condition. I hope she is somehow an exception.

    January 29, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
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