Yesterday I posted an article about Rick Santorum’s decision to suspend his Florida campaign following the hospitalization of his three year old daughter Bella, who is afflicted with Trisomy 18. In the course of that piece, I promised to offer up my prayers for the child’s recovery and asked my readers to do likewise. No less a bard than Alfred Lord Tennyson, in his classic epic poem Morte d’Arthur, commended prayer in the person of a dying King Arthur who beseeched Sir Bedivere to pray for him:
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
And so it came to pass that prayers for Bella ascended to Heaven and those prayers were answered:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday his daughter Bella remains in the hospital with pneumonia but is recovering after a rough 36 hours.
Santorum spoke with Florida supporters by telephone from 3-year-old Bella’s hospital room and said doctors hope she can go home in the next few days.
The former Pennsylvania senator also said, “We’re going to get out on the campaign trail later tomorrow … heading out to the Midwest, and start campaigning in the next states as we move this campaign forward.”
Santorum scheduled a speech Monday in Missouri and another event in southwest Minnesota – two states with early February contests. He then planned to head to Colorado and Nevada for events Tuesday.
“I feel very, very good about where we are and where the campaign is going,” the candidate said.
But during the call with Florida voters, Santorum opened his remarks with his daughter, who has a genetic condition known as Trisomy 18. The condition typically proves fatal and Santorum often says his daughter wasn’t expected to live past 12 months.
“She without a doubt has turned the corner,” he said. But he cautioned she “isn’t out of the woods yet.”
Santorum called his daughter’s improvement a “miraculous turnaround” after an unexpected detour from the campaign just days before Tuesday’s Florida primary.
Santorum got to his home in Virginia around midnight Friday for a quick break to do his taxes, but found his daughter “was not doing well.”
“I was up with her a lot of the night,” he said. “By the end of the day, it was really, really clear she was struggling.”
Saturday evening, Santorum aides announced Bella had been admitted to the hospital and they canceled his morning interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” and church services in Miami. His aides later canceled his trip to Florida and instead sent his 20-year-old daughter to campaign for him.
Santorum described the situation as a “very, very tough night last night” but said by late Sunday Bella was “alert and back to her own beautiful, happy girl.”
“It’s been a very hectic 36 hours,” Santorum said. “Life in the Santorum family has dramatically improved since the late afternoon.”
May Bella’s recovery continue to be a strong and a speedy one. God bless you, Rick Santorum – and God bless little Bella.