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. Dan

    As a father myself, I can only imagine the pain involved with not knowing if your child is going to live or die. Ultimately, it's in God's hands. Our children don't belong to us. Mr. Santorum- I pray for your family and your daughter on a daily basis.

    January 29, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  2. SK-B

    My heart goes out to the Santorum and I wish them the best.

    Almost 8 years ago I was in a coma for 3 weeks after complications from a coronary procedure. The hospital was kind and supportive toward my wife, except for one doctor who felt it necessary to get her to "face reality." He told her that it was time "to make a decision," but which he meant face the fact that I was a goner and pull the plug. She replied: "My mother always said, 'where there's life there's hope.'" Like the Santorum, her focus was not on preparing for my death, but focusing on my living... fortunately for me!

    January 29, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  3. Irma Oliva

    God watch over ur Bella n give ya continued strength. Live life to the fullest never give up doing so. Amen

    January 29, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  4. Good stuff

    He's not the guy I want for president, but he's a good father and my heart goes out to him and his family.

    January 29, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  5. keeeleee

    My prayers are with you! May God gives you courage and wisdom to do the right thing!

    January 29, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  6. joan holland

    thers an angel with her...she*ll b ok!

    January 29, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  7. paulbark

    If Santorum is serious when he says, "....we're going to focus on [my daughter's] living," then he will withdraw from the race. His wife and children need him. Sometimes family has to take precedence over political ambitions. I hope Santorum has his priorities straight.

    January 29, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  8. Sage Sophos

    May the lord be with your family and I wish your Kid quick recovery!!

    January 29, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  9. Rose

    Oh, well this is so sad, I pray she gets better quick.

    January 29, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  10. Henry Miller

    Live well, little girl...

    January 29, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  11. JT

    Hopefully things get better for his daughter. Although, I'm a Romney supporter, I'm baffled that the more conservative part of the party does not back Santorum, as opposed to Gingrich.

    January 29, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  12. Anonymous

    My thoughts are with you Rick

    January 29, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  13. gar

    I'm not a fan of her father's, but I definitely hope the poor baby gets better.

    January 29, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  14. ann west

    I hope Santorum and his Wife are finished having kids. Obviously with one child having a genetic disorder and another stillborn ., something is wrong.

    January 29, 2012 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  15. Garrett

    Maybe time to think about a rational family size?

    January 29, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  16. ann west

    If he has to take off for his children's sicknesses, he should not be in the running. We can't afford to have a preoccupied president. This is not the time for it.

    January 29, 2012 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  17. Dave

    We'd see a lot more children with this disorder if Santorum gets what he really wants and bans contraception and abortion.

    January 29, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  18. Kiara

    Keeping you and your daughter Bell in My Prayers!

    January 29, 2012 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  19. Kathy

    I would like to offer my sincerest wishes that Bella gets well soon. Your family should always come before everything else.

    January 29, 2012 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  20. Irene Allen Ft.WayneIn

    My prayers goes out 2 ur daughter!

    January 29, 2012 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  21. Log Cabin

    When I saw this headline, my first thought was – she had a back alley abortion.

    January 29, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  22. Margie Stroud

    I will be praying for Bella.

    January 29, 2012 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  23. Antell

    I be in with your family.

    January 29, 2012 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  24. Bo Houff

    Prayers for this little girl and her family!

    January 29, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  25. toppgunnery

    Hope Bella recovers soon! God Speed!

    January 29, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
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