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Please pray for Bella Santorum

Posted Jan 11 2009 3:01pm
Please pray for baby Bella Santorum, daughter of former Senator Rick Santorum of PA a Catholic pro-life senator. Just after I met and interviewed him on his heroic work to pass the Partial Birth Abortion Ban he and his wife conceived a special needs child, Bella with Trisomy 18. She was born in May 2008.

Below are email updates from Rick Santorum on the illness of his daughter Bella who is in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with pnemonia. Most children with Trisomy 18 do not live longer than one year, if they make it to birth. Senator had a beautiful interview with Raymond Arroyo on "The World Over" on EWTN. Listen to it here.

I wanted to send out a quick note to ask for a special prayer over the next couple of days. Bella
worked her way off the ventilator a week ago Sunday and with her
accustomed smiling good cheer has slowly, but steadily gotten
stronger. The doctors have pinpointed two issues that are
compromising Bella?s lung function which they believe are at the root
of her two bouts of pneumonia. Both can be repaired surgically. So
Bella is scheduled for surgery on Friday at 1030 at CHOP at which
time both issues will be addressed. We are hopeful that this will
give Bella a great chance to avoid future serious respiratory problems.
Unfortunately, in this evening Bella began to spike a low grade
fever. This is worrisome generally when you are in a hospital given
the variety of bad bugs that can be contracted, but this has the
added complexity of delaying the surgery that the doctors believe she
needs to have as soon as possible.
Karen and I ask for one extra prayer over the next couple of days
that she is healthy enough to have successful surgery.
As our family celebrates the birth of a little child that changed the
world forever, we continue to thank God for the his gift of another
child that changed our world forever.
With love and gratitude,
Rick, Karen and our children
P.S. I have talked to many of you recently who have apologized for
not responding to these emails. Nonsense. If you hold up Bella in
prayer or in any other way pursuant to your beliefs, you have
answered this email more eloquently and supportively than we could
have hoped for.
Some have also asked about whether we minded if you would forward
this email to others. Our answer is if you think they would pray for
Bella, send away!


This is the previous email which explains how Bella entered the hospital.
Last week on November 13 we celebrated Bella's six month
birthday. A day later she had her six month pediatrician
appointment and checked in at over 15 pounds -- a weight that most
T-18 children take years to reach. That was in spite of the fact
that she had battled pneumonia for several weeks a few weeks prior
to the appointment. She is exceeding expectations of the doctors
both physically and developmentally.
However, on Wednesday night Bella began to get a little congestion
again. She continued to have congestion on Thursday, so we began to
continuously monitor her blood oxygen and pulse with the pulse
oximeter to see that if she did begin to have difficulty we could
get her help before it got too bad. On Thursday evening in a matter
of a few minutes she just ran out of energy and began to fail. As
we were getting her ready to go to the hospital she stop breathing
in my arms and her heart was barely beating. Karen performed CPR
and revived her until the EMTs arrived.
Because she was so critical, we had to get her to the closest
hospital, DC Children's Hospital instead of our favorite Children's
Hospital of Philadelphia. The diagnosis appears to be like the last incident, she contracted a cold virus, that quickly turned into pneumonia.

This time she is in for a much more difficult road
back. She is in critical condition in intensive care on a ventilator with more lines going into her than baby. Because she is on a ventilator, they have sedated her into a coma like
state. Please pray for her lungs to heal and for the doctors to make wise decisions concerning her care.
God has been so good to us. Bella is the most pleasant, sweet bundle our family could have ever asked for. She loves listening to classical music and being held by everyone in her family. She
has become the axis around which our family turns and we thank God every day for that fact.
We are confident with your continued prayers we will have our
smiling cooing little girl back home with us again.
Thank you so much,
Rick and Karen
.




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