Trisomy 18 Rick Santorum’s Daughter Bella Has Genetic Disorder

Trisomy 18 Rick Santorum’s Daughter Bella Has Genetic Disorder: This weekend, Rick Santorum left the campaign trail to be with his 3-year-old daughter, Isabella, who was hospitalized with pneumonia. Fortunately, Bella made what Santorum called “a miraculous turnaround,” and the former Pennsylvania senator resumed his campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on Monday. However, Bella’s condition remains a constant point of worry for the Santorum family.

Bella has Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that gives her an extra copy of the 18th chromosome. According to the Trisomy 18 Foundation, the extra chromosome can cause life-threatening abnormalities in the heart, brain, stomach and other internal organs.

There is a very high mortality rate for infants born with the disorder — about 50 percent of babies carried to term are stillborn, and less than 10 percent will reach their first birthday. Females are about five times more likely than males to be live-born. A small number of individuals (mostly women) with Trisomy 18 have reached their 20s and 30s. Continue Reading…