A Speedy Recovery

Here at HA, we’ve been pretty (and deservedly) tough on Rick Santorum. But there’s no animus, no political disagreement, no division that can bring any thing but sadness from this story (h/t).

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.

I can’t imagine how difficult this is for his family. Here’s hoping Bella gets well enough soon enough that we can go back to making fun of her father’s horrible political positions shortly.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Trisomy 18 (sometimes called Edwards Syndrome) is an accident of nature that means you’re going to be sick for all of your very short life.

    According to Wikipedia, of 495 diagnosed cases in England and Wales in 2008/2009 only 35 were born alive; in general, “half of infants with this condition do not survive beyond the first week of life,” so Bella has already overcome very long odds to make it to age 3.

    Nature can be cruel. But somehow nature gave some of you humans the capacity to be kind, loving, and compassion. Nature also made you smart (although not as smart as rabbits), so maybe someday your best minds will figire out a medical cure for this condition — if government research funding isn’t cut.

    Of course, we all hope and pray the Santorums’ child will overcome this latest medical crisis and live a long, fruitful, and joyous life. If it doesn’t work out that way, I’m sure Rick and his wife will find strength and solace in their religion and their bond with each other.

  2. 2

    ArtFart spews:

    Oh, man…that’s rough. I may disagree with Rick Santorum about a lot of things, but my heart and prayers go out to him and his family.

  3. 3

    ArtFart spews:

    I think someone should point out that whoever picked the name of Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia was evidently as uncautious about the dangers of “unintentional acronyms” than the individual who originally decided to name a certain transit line the “South Lake Union Trolley”.

  4. 4

    Steve spews:

    There are a lot of things that should transcend politics and this is one of them. I wish the best for the Santorum family.

  5. 7

    correctnotright spews:

    My heart goes out to the Santorum family. I still don’t like his politics – but I would never want anything bad to happen to his little girl. We hope for her to get better.

  6. 8

    drool spews:

    From Wikipedia:

    “It is the second most common autosomal trisomy, after Down syndrome, that carries to term.”

    “The incidence increases as the mother’s age increases”

    Getting pregnant at a late age poses significant risks for the child.

  7. 9

    fishincurt spews:

    Mr. Santorum’s politics and religion have a direct correlation to his poor daughters condition. Women who are over 30 and pregnant get a blood screen for Trisomy 18 & other genetic disorders. A positive result allows the family to decide if the pregnancy should be terminated. I guess the Santorum’s made their choice and now they can look to their god for the consequences. I cannot understand why anybody would knowingly bring a life into this world that would result in so much pain and suffering.

  8. 10

    drool spews:


    Beyond the subject of terminating the pregnancy, Santorum’s known disdain for contraception may enter into this.