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Politics

Santorum cancels events after daughter is admitted to hospital

Rick Santorum canceled campaign events in Florida set for Sunday after his daughter Isabella was admitted to a Philadelphia hospital.

Isabella, known as Bella, is 3 years old. She suffers from Trisomy 18, a severe genetic condition in which she carries an extra chromosome.

“Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this evening,” the campaign said in a statement Saturday night. “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.”

Santorum had been expected to attend services at a Miami church and appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” as well as campaign at events in Sarasota and Punta Gorda.

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On Sunday morning, his campaign announced that Santorum would stay in Philadelphia while sending members of his family to campaign in his place.

The former Pennsylvania senator has struggled at times to reconcile the constant campaigning required of a candidate and being the parent of a special-needs child.

“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.

Bella has largely been kept away from the campaign trail, but Santorum mentioned her prominently after winning the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.

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“She’s our little angel,” he told a hotel ballroom crowd in Johnston, Iowa. “That’s Isabella Maria. Isabella Maria, we don’t take her out in crowds. She’s — has a disability. She has a disability that has, according to the records, the statistics, has a 1% chance of survival after one year. She is 3½ years old.”

Robin Abcarian contributed to this report.


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