Breaking News

Rick Santorum’s Daughter Suffers from Trisomy 18
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Rick Santorum, one of the presidential hopefuls, left the campaign trail this past weekend so he could be with his young daughter, Bella, in the hospital. His daughter suffers from Trisomy 18, which is a genetic disorder. The disorder kills 90 percent of children before or during birth and those children who live past birth have serious life-threatening symptoms.

The disorder is also known as Edwards syndrome, which causes children to have an extra copy of the chromosome 18. The syndrome causes symptoms such as low birth weight, clenched hands, a small head and jaw, mental deficiency and an oddly shaped chest.


“Most children with Trisomy 18 die in the first three months of life, and only 10 to 20 percent survive past the first year,” said Dr. Robert Marion, the Chief of Genetics and Developmental Medicine at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

While pregnant, tests can be performed for parents-to-be to determine if their baby has the syndrome. According to the National Institute of Health, half of infants born with Trisomy 18 do not live past the first week of life. Those that make it to their teen years suffer from serious medical and developmental problems.

“Those who survive are almost always girls,” said Marion. “The reason for this is that the condition is more lethal in boys, who die intrauterinely.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

The chair of genetic medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, Dr. Ronald Crystal, said that the syndrome is ‘invariably fatal.’ He also said that survival depends on the severity of the symptoms and the quality of care that the child receives. He described Bella Santorum, who is 3, as “already an exception.”

Bella was hospitalized this past weekend for pneumonia and was able to make a “miraculous turnaround,” according to Santorum. Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, decided to resume his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday. The Santorum family continues to worry about the condition of Bella even though Santorum returned to the campaign trail.

If born with the syndrome, females are five times more likely than males to be live-born. A very small amount of people, most of them women, who suffer from Trisomy 18, have reached their 20s and 30s. A large amount of children with the disorder suffer from congenital heart defects, much like Bella does, which makes it difficult for her heart to pump blood throughout the body. These congenital heart defects can cause fluid in the body to back up and leave children more susceptible to infections, such as pneumonia.

Santorum told Minnesota voters, in a tele-town hall, “I know how she got through it,” he said. “It was with the hands of these doctors and the prayers that guided those hands.”

Back in December, Santorum defended his run for the Republican presidential nomination by saying, “I worry about what I’m trying to do to be the best father and the best husband I can be. And obviously a big part of that is making sure that we have a country that respects her life, and a country that is free and safe and prosperous for all of my children.”


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Mid-level Tax Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of an AmLaw firm seeks mid-level tax associate attorney with 3-5 years of experie...

Apply Now

Real Estate/Transactional Attorney

USA-PA-Camp Hill

Camp Hill office of our client seeks real estate/transactional attorney with experience. The candida...

Apply Now

Corporate Attorney


Laramie office of our client seeks corporate attorney with 2+ years of experience.

Apply Now


Legal Assistant / Paralegal


Tavares boutique and growing law firm is looking for a full-time legal assistant / paralegal to work...

Apply now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

Andrus Anderson LLP is a plaintiffs’ firm in San Francisco looking for a full-time associate w...

Apply now

Maine Litigation Attorney


Busy New England business law firm seeks Maine Litigation Attorney based in our Portland, Maine offi...

Apply now

Maine Foreclosure Attorney Operations Manager


Bendett & McHugh is looking for a strong Foreclosure Attorney Operations Manager for our Maine Forec...

Apply now


To Top