Correction appended below. No matter what one’s political leanings — and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s culturally conservative positions have earned him passionate support and opposition — the Republican presidential candidate earned sympathy and support as a father today as he suspended his campaign to care for his daughter, Bella, in a hospital in Virginia.
Isabella Santorum, age 3, has Trisomy 18, the “18” standing for the extra chromosome that causes this genetic condition. Life expectancies are very low for babies born with the condition, and Santorum often says his daughter was not expected to live long enough to celebrate her first birthday.
In a statement released Saturday night, spokesman Hogan Gidley said, “Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this evening. Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible.”
Bella is one of seven Santorum children. More of the story can be found here.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Bella Santorum was being treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as the Santorum campaign itself announced Saturday. But the campaign later corrected its own account with the information that the Santorums were in a hospital in Virginia. For more information about how this error occurred, see the Philadelphia Daily News’ story on the error here.