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Daughter released from hospital, Rick Santorum to resume campaign

April 10, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Bella Santorum, 3, daughter of Rick Santorum, in a recent photo provided by the GOP hopeful's campaign.
Bella Santorum, 3, daughter of Rick Santorum, in a recent photo provided… (Santorum campaign )

Rick Santorum will resume his presidential campaign Tuesday afternoon, hours after his youngest child, Bella, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder, was released from a hospital and allowed to return to her family’s Virginia home.

"The Santorum's are truly overwhelmed by the prayers and support they've received," spokesman Hogan Gidley said in an email. The family included a recent picture of the 3-year-old, "so everyone could see their precious gift from God."

Isabella Santorum, known as Bella, was hospitalized Friday with pneumonia, an illness she is susceptible to because of the chromosomal defect that she was born with in 2008, Trisomy 18. The rare disorder results in a baby being  born with an extra chromosome that results in abnormal development of the brain and major organs. Only one in 10 babies born with it survive the first year of life.

Santorum was celebrating the Easter holiday weekend with his family in Virginia when Bella, who requires round-the-clock medical care, was taken to the hospital. Santorum, who is facing a tightening race in his home state, canceled private campaign events on Monday to remain by Bella's bedside with his wife, Karen.

Earlier this year, Bella was also hospitalized with pneumonia, prompting Santorum to leave the campaign trail before the Florida primary. Santorum frequently mentions his daughter while speaking to voters, thanking them for their prayers and telling supporters how well she is doing.

Bella's most recent hospitalization led GOP front-runner Mitt Romney to suspend his attack ads against Santorum on Monday, but now that the former Pennsylvania senator is heading back to the campaign trail, the ads are likely to be back on the airwaves.

Santorum was initially scheduled to hold three events Tuesday, but canceled a morning rally in Bedford and a 12:30 event at his law school alma mater in Carlisle "to allow Rick, Karen and Bella to settle in at home," Gidley said. Santorum added a 2 p.m. event in Gettysburg, and retained an evening event in Lancaster with James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Karen Santorum initially planned to attend the event, but her schedule remains uncertain with her daughter’s condition.

Original source: Daughter released from hospital, Rick Santorum to resume campaign

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