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Rick Santorum cancels Florida appearances as 3-year-old daughter hospitalized

by Andrew Abramson | January 28th, 2012

Rick Santorum cancelled his Suday morning Florida appearances after his 3-year-old daughter Bella fell ill on Saturday. It’s not clear yet when he will resume campaigning in Florida. He is scheduled to appear in Boca Raton Monday morning.

Hogan Gidley, Santorum’s communications director, released a statement saying: “Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this evening. 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”

Bella suffers from Trisomy 18, a genetic condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 18th chromosome. When asked about her, Santorum says his daughter was not expected to survive until her first birthday and often has to catch himself to stop from tears.

“I have a little girl who’s 3 years old,” he told Christian conservatives in Iowa before winning that lead-off contest.

“I don’t know whether her life is going to be measured — it’s always been measured — in days and weeks. Yet here I am. … because I feel like I wouldn’t be a good dad if I wasn’t out here fighting for a country that would see the dignity in her and every other child.”

When voters ask him about her, he calls the decision to campaign “gut-retching” but says he goes forward for all special needs families.

“You think she’s fine, and then one cold and she’s this close to dying,” he told The Washington Post last year in an interview.

In October, he missed one of Bella’s surgeries to participate in a debate and told the audience that he planned to take an all-night flight home from Las Vegas to be with her.

“I look at the simplicity and love she emits,” Santorum said in a web video his campaign released after his scheduling drew questions, “and it’s clear to me we’re the disabled ones.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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44 Responses to “Rick Santorum cancels Florida appearances as 3-year-old daughter hospitalized”

  1. Laurie E. Miley Says:

    Just heard about this on WBLW radio news. i just prayed for her and I will pray for whole family. Praying for a good man of God for Presidency. Rick is that YOU? I do like what I’ve heard Rick Santorum say.

  2. Dan Bogdan Says:

    I am so sorry to hear that Bella is ill. I know that God will take care of her because I prayed for her and I know that God listen to my prayers. I wish that God will give her everything that people can not and to you and Karen, the patience of Saints and the love of Christ, so that she can witness god’s work in her life.
    As for your presidential candidacy…do not let your heart be troubled…
    GOD WILL PROVIDE.

    With love in Christ,

    Your brother,

    Dan B.

  3. tee Says:

    Love it !!! A real man as a candidate….you got my vote . And thanks for the reality check. I will never take “just a cold” in my 5 yr old for granted again . Prayers for your family and the miracle angel your little girl is.

  4. down n south Says:

    I am in hopes that this lil angel gets better…she is under gods protection and watchful eye…i pray for gods mercy and profound love and peace be with the family, as this lil bby heals…god speed!

  5. Shannon Says:

    I was brought to tears by this story and as a mother to a three year old I can imagine the love and heartache the family feels. As a conservative republican I feel like he would be the best choice and this story confirms the character of this man. A father who loves his family and a citizen who loves his country! My prayers and support are with him!!

  6. MJ Says:

    My heart goes out to you Rick and your entire family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Having a severely disabled granddaughter myself, I can feel both your pain and joy that Bella brings.

    As for your presidential run, please do not give up. I feel you are the right person to bring us back to what our country used to be.

  7. Kim Says:

    God bless you, your family, and your sweet daughter!

  8. mary brown Says:

    May the grace of God be with you and family!!

  9. Stephanie Says:

    God is in control and he loves Bella.

  10. erika Says:

    I was in tears when I read this… I’m also a mother of a terminally ill special needs child and I too know how a simple cold can turn into a quite lengthy hospital stay… It is so tough watching ur child have to go thru all the poking and proding. I am praying for Ur daughters speedy recovery and lasting health… It breaks my heart to hear stories such as these and I will pray for Ur families strength in going thru this… Hope Ur lil girl gets better soon.

  11. susie neal Says:

    Praying for this family

  12. aliyah Says:

    GOD’S grace be with Rick Santorum and family. I’m neither conservative nor republican but any compassionate person regardless of political leaning will feel for this man and what his family is going through. Our youngest is not afflicted with the same condition but also “just a cold” could land her in hospital for several days so I understand his pain and feel for his family.

  13. steve Says:

    It is a great story and I will say a prayer as soon as I am done posting.. But the fact is, we do not need a president who can be easily distracted whenever, God forbid, his daughter falls ill!
    We need to let Obama clean up this mess that Georgy Porgy got us in.. No pres can do that in 1 term!

  14. Jasmine Says:

    I’ll pray for all of y’all that give Christians a bad name and think Santorum is a savior. A man that believes that a woman,who has been raped, requires that they keep the baby?! What kind of sick guy is this?! Thinks that a man has right to a woman like back in the 1800s? Thinks that criminals such as rapists and murderers make better parents than gays?! Wow. I can ask is “Did you force your wife to have sex with you seven times over and have offspring?”. Santorum has never been raped and does not have any notion of what it is like to say that raped women need to have their rapist’s children. Saying these are “gifts from God?!”. You’re sick Santorum and it disgusts me that people follow this fake notion of Christianity. I hope he enjoys getting raped one day because “it is a gift from God.”

  15. Same Ole, Same Ole Says:

    Job One for this November is to remove Barack Hussein Obama from office. To me and many, many millions of Americans, that is priority number one and why we are currently keeping our powder dry.

    No previous President has ever run so rough-shod over America, nor done so much damage to America, nor lied to and screwed so many generations of the American people.

    The most important thing is to fire him, get rid of his whole Marxist cabinet and have a clean sweep across both party lines in Congress.

    Please forward to all your friends if you agree.

  16. Jasmine Says:

    I’ll pray for all of y’all that give Christians a bad name and think Santorum is a savior. A man that believes that a woman,who has been raped, requires that they keep the baby?! What kind of sick guy is this?! Thinks that a man has right to a woman like back in the 1800s? Thinks that criminals such as rapists and murderers make better parents than gays?! Wow. I can ask is “Did you force your wife to have sex with you seven times over and have offspring?”. Santorum has never been raped and does not have any notion of what it is like to say that raped women need to have their rapist’s children. Saying these are “gifts from God?!”. You’re sick Santorum and it disgusts me that people follow this fake notion of Christianity. I hope he enjoys getting raped one day because “it is a gift from God.”. Amazing that people see religion and follow like sheep taken to slaughter.

  17. Jeff S. Says:

    This is a man that deserves closer attention. What a joy would it be to have a man of God and family lead our country. Why do we even consider a person who cheats on his (several) wives or hides his fortune overseas? Do we even consider that a man who truly has his (and God’s) priorities in order to be our President? Think again about who you want your children to see as an example of a Godly husband, father and President of our country.

  18. steve Says:

    To ‘same ol same ol’

    You only want Obama out because your prejudice, plain and simple! That’s why you posted his middle name to make it sould like he is Muslim.. Like we wouldn’t know his name by just saying Obama….
    Truth is, bush screwed this country and the generations to come and its going to have to get worse in order to get better… Extreme measures!!

    He got bin laden, just got the kidnapped 2 from Nigeria , has dismantled the main terrorists and pulled troops from Iraq, which will saveUS lives and how much $??

    Wise up dummy!

  19. steve Says:

    Your commander in chief now and for another term is a BLACK man!
    Sorry for you that you White folks can’t get over it.. But you have no choice!

  20. Jasmine Says:

    Steve, ‘Same Ol’ probably can’t read beyond The Bible, totes his gun ’round yonder, thinks Republicans actually care about his own poor family, and believes their word is gospel. Repubs love to waste money like here in the Atl where they sued Pres. Obama by stating that his father was not a US citizen and therefore he is not and should not be the POTUS. So what? My parents were not at one time and I am a US citizen because I was born here. I’m just as American as anyone else! Y’all turn this country on its head by voting for religion…because if you were smart enough to realize American history does involve your ancestors LEAVING England because of religious persecution! Why take a huge step backwards now in 2012?!

  21. believer Says:

    Jasmine, all human life is a gift from God. Exterminating the child is simply wrong. We believe that God is completely soveriegn over all things – for those that love him, he brings peace in the midst of suffering. Have faith in God.

    Rick, God’s grace be with you and your family. Enjoy as much of your days and weeks with Bella as possible. Thank you for staying in the fray and fighting for Freedom, Family, Liberty, Security and Economy. Regardless of the outcome, your standing firm against the foes, foreign and domestic. I hope you can that oath again soon – but either way, you have my gratitude. For the cause of our mutual Saviour.

    Sarah Palin, Have you lost your way? Rick is your brother, has the same political positions as you, and has a special needs child too! I am very disappointed in you.

  22. Pinky Malovic Says:

    We’re praying for you and your family.

  23. C. Michael Says:

    Mine and Lizzy’s heart goes out to you and your family and our prayers to God. She is in His hands. We will continue to keep her in our prayers until we here she is healed.

  24. jo Says:

    i can say for sure she is not in that hospital, so either publicity stunt or she is somewhere eles

  25. karen black Says:

    God will take of this little girl. And hopefully God will take care of all of us by insuring none of these horrible Republican candidates become President of our great nation. Go home, Mr. Santorum, and be with your family, where you belong.

  26. Travis Says:

    Rick, still to your principles and good luck with the family. Thanks for being the only candidate who defends our Constitution, and for being a contrast to our pro-abortion president who says he supports abortion because he doesn’t want his girls’ lives screwed up if they become pregnant. Nice.

  27. Frank Says:

    He n his family r in my prayers. I wonder if all the sarafice is worth it

  28. Gordon Says:

    It’s not about a Black person being President. It’s a about a Father and his sick little girl. What makes this country great is we can post things and say what we feel.

  29. steve Says:

    @ Jasmine
    Very tru!

  30. dave longdale Says:

    Made up polls, surges, delayed vote counts, I cannot see a way in which democracy will prevail in this next election. There was a coup in 2008 and unelected officials not only took over Washington they are too involved in this next election. The biggest cover up in history starts here.

    http://PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot.com/

  31. Chas Says:

    Putting aside my difference in political views with him, many prayers for Mr. Santorum and his family. God bless you sir for putting family over politics. I hope your daughter gets well soon!

  32. Victoria Says:

    Mr. Rick Santorum,

    GOD Bless you!!!! You are a true man of GOD. My family’s prayers are with your family, we pray that your precious little Angel gets better soon and that soon they will find a cure for that terrible illness, Trisomy 18. “JEHOVAH-RAPHA-The lord our Healer”

    Exodus 15:26, ….”For I am the LORD who heals you”

    Jeremiah 17:7-8, “BLESSED is the Man who Trusts in the Lord And whose hope is in the Lord.”

    Hebrews 13:5, ….”I will never leave you nor forsake you”

    II-Corinthians 12:9, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My strenght is made perfect in weakness”

    Ephesians 6:10, “Be strong in the lord and in the power of His might”

    Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with YOU; Be not dismayed, For I am your GOD. I will strenghten you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

    **You have our family’s **vote**, already voted for the FL primary!**

    God Bless you and your family, may GOD always keep you under his Grace and always keep you safe now and always.

    Blessings from Florida..

  33. Mary Shanks Says:

    I hope and pray that Rick and his wife will be able to handle all these unforseen events. I will pray for them. I hope Rick keeps going. He is the only candidate that makes any sense.

  34. nicola iacovetti Says:

    Mr. Santorum. Iam deeply sorry about your child.. I have,and will pray for her. It is difficult to imagine a siuation like that unless you are a part of it. I am a Roman Catholic and believe in prayer. Please, if it’s important to be with your child stay..Even if you miss the election now, you are a youing man and will have a chance the next time. god bless you and your lovely family!

  35. Victoria Says:

    “Jasmine” You are in my prayers! I pray that GOD will give you a change of heart into a compasionate, convicted heart. GOD almighty is THE ONLY authority who can decide life, not humankind.

    Praying for you on FL.

  36. Diane Says:

    For those of you who say “He has my vote” because of this, did you vote for Palin because she had a Down Syndrome baby? Although sad, this does not a good president make. Rick Santorium is one of the top 5 in ethics violations. Gingrich has about 800 ethics violations. How about caring about our young men and women who are being slaughtered in unnecessary wars? Vote Ron Paul to bring the troops home, have high defense for THIS country, and obey the constitution. Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate with no ethics violations. He is the one troops support the MOST, by far. And he is a Christian. “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Rick wants war with Iran.

  37. steve Says:

    Obama…
    Forget the others…..
    I’m tellin you! Bush made a mess and he will need the 2nd term to clean it up!

  38. Ladidi Says:

    May God bless Bella and your entire family. I said a prayer for Bella.

    I want you to win the nomination for President. You are the only one who makes sense. These people who can’t see thru & understand how Obama is hiding how radical he really is and how he is ruining our Country. Obamacare is really very bad. Go to Galen Institute.com. What Obama says are lies. Listen to Fox News Radio to find out the Truth.

  39. Linda Says:

    Prayers for a speeding recovery for your daughter. I will be voting for you on Tuesday. You are my candidate of choice.

  40. Rachel Burket Says:

    Picture Rick with Bella.
    If I could vote in FL, he would have my vote. He is not only a good dad but a good man and a true conservative!

    http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/images/kabc/cms_exf_2007/news/politics/8523114_448x252.jpg

  41. mary Says:

    I’ve worked for twenty years with preschoolers who have special needs. One teacher who I had the pleasure of working with said it best, special needs kids bring out the best in us and make us a better person. He was right on! God bless you and your family in your hour of need.

  42. Luke Says:

    Jasmine, you are a vile, sick, evil person. I can’t honestly believe that you would condone the murder of innocent children. Just because their father is a rapist doesn’t mean that they are.

  43. Carolyn Says:

    first and foremost, Bella needs to be prayed for….check…next Santorum is a good man check…I think a man who only lets family distract him would make a fine President…Mr. Santorum you and your family have my respect and my prayers…..now for all you people who think I am racist because I think Barack Obama is a terrible President and feel that he will just bury us deeper if given another 4 years…I can assure you I am not the racist person…but you only have to look at the fact that Mr Obama has so many believing that he is 100 % black…..just for votes…he is using the race card to get elected…he IS 50% white and he could care less about any of us actually….He is arrogant…and so ill-prepared to be President (and neither am I a George W fan) just saying….wise up America before he sells your country to China.

  44. Antoinette De Ridder Says:

    Thank you for putting your money where your mouth is. Your pro-life stance was not altered by your own family difficulties.

    Our 4 year-old granddaughter prayed for Bella last night. So precious, so tender. She could have been the one with Trisomy 18, but she is healthy. We are grateful. And we are grateful that your family reminds us there are still people with virtue in politics.

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