Putting aside politics for a moment, I hope we can send our collective thoughts and prayers to the Santorum family.
Rick Santorum’s 3 ½ year old daughter, Isabella, is seriously ill — she suffers from the genetic disorder Trisomy 18, also known as “Edwards Syndrome.” I understand very little about the malady, but it’s caused by a chromosomal anomaly and she exists “on the margins of life.”
Santorum has been incredibly candid about young Bella’s illness, but his decision to temporarily suspend his campaign in Florida speaks to the gravity of her condition. She’s been admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for treatment — arguably the best pediatric hospital in the country, and I’m not just saying that because I was born there.
Like I said, I don’t know bupkis about extra chromosomes or autosomal disorders, but I know this little girl has already put up one heck of a fight. The median lifespan for this condition is 5-15 days, and only 8% of infants born with this syndrome live to see their first birthday. One percent of children make it to ten years old, but that small percentage who survive birth and infancy often live to adulthood. Fingers crossed for the latter.
I don’t have kids, and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this must be for the Santorum family. All I know is, I hope this little girl gets better, and soon.