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Pregnancy

Rick Santorum’s 3-Year-Old Daughter Nearly Died, Has Rare Genetic Disorder

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Rick Santorum s 3 Year Old Daughter Nearly Died  Has Rare Genetic Disorder rick santorum 300 225x300 jpgSay what you will about Rick Santorum‘s political platform but the father almost lost his little girl this past weekend. His youngest child, 3-year-old Isabella Santorum, was hospitalized for pneumonia and nearly died.

“Bella” as she is called in the Santorum household is the seventh and youngest child in the family. The toddler was born with Trisomy 18, a rare genetic disorder that normally kills babies shortly after they are born. Robert Marion, chief of genetics and developmental medicine in New York, told The Washington Post:

“Ninety percent die in the first year,” he says, “And the ten percent who survive have severe developmental problems.”

The disease is apparently “similar in etiology” to Down Syndrome, which is also known as Trisomy 21,WaPo reports. But Down Syndrome is considered much less severe than Trisomy 18. The risk of having a child with the genetic disorder increases with the age of the mother (Karen Santorum was 48 when she delivered Bella).

Today on Glenn Beck‘s radio show, the father and presidential hopeful explained that his little girl had contracted a cold which nearly killed her:

…she was able to get great care and yesterday really made a great turn around and she will be out of the ICU today and so we are getting back to normal here.”

Santorum has reportedly been by his daughter’s side at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, cancelling all appearances for tomorrow’s Republican primary in Florida. The former senator may be consumed by work in these last stretches of the primary, but the bid for presidency clearly comes second to his ailing Bella.

(photo: people.com)

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