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Rick Santorum’s Daughter Bella Admitted To Hospital

The three-year-old daughter of Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has been admitted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the candidate has cancelled his Sunday morning campaign events to be at her side.

Santorum campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said Saturday night that the former Pennsylvania senator and his wife, Karen, were with Bella at CHOP. Gidley said Santorum planned to return to campaigning as soon as possible in Florida, where the Republican primary is Tuesday.

Bella Santorum has Trisomy 18, a genetic condition in which a child has a third copy of material from chromosome 18, instead of the usual two, causing a wide array of physical and mental problems.

Bella was not expected to survive until her first birthday – half of infants with Trisomy 18 do not survive their first week, according the National Institutes of Health. Some children have lived to their teenage years, but with significant medical and developmental issues.

The Santorums have been frequent visitors to CHOP with their daughter, and concerns over Isabella’s health have canceled previous Santorum campaign events.

During his campaign, Santorum and his wife have spoken openly about the challenges and rewards of raising a child with such a condition.

The Santorums have six other children; they lost a baby boy, Gabriel, shortly after his birth in 1996. Bella was born in 2008; two years later, Santorum wrote about her in an Inquirer column.

“All children are a gift that comes with no guarantees,” he wrote. “While Bella’s life may not be long, and though she requires our constant care, she is worth every tear.”

Our prayers are with Bella and the family.

In this video Rick Santorum talks about his daughter Bella’s Down-Syndrome.

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