GETTYSBURG, Pennsylvania (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he will suspend his campaign run.
Santorum's 3-year-old daughter Bella was released from the hospital, her second trip this year. Bella suffers from a rare and often fatal disorder called Trisomy 18.
Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a condition which is caused by a chromosomal defect. It occurs in about 1 out of every 3000 live births. Unlike Down syndrome, which also is caused by a chromosomal defect, the developmental issues caused by Trisomy 18 are associated with medical complications that are more potentially life-threatening in the early months and years of life. 50% of babies who are carried to term will be stillborn, with baby boys having higher stillbirth rate than baby girls.
While there are different types of Trisomy 18; Full, Partial, and Mosaic, this does not mean one is better for a child than another.
The extra eighteenth chromosome can cause a variety of problems with varying severity.
According to trisomy18.org typical characteristics of Trisomy 18 include:
• Heart defects:
- VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect): a hole between the lower chambers
- ASD (Atrial Septal Defect): a hole between the upper chambers
- Coarctation of the aorta: a narrowing of the exit vessel from the heart
• Kidney problems
• Part of the intestinal tract is outside the stomach (omphalocele)
• The esophagus doesn’t connect to the stomach (esophageal artesia)
• Excess amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
• Clenched hands
• Pocket of fluid on the brain (choroid plexus cysts)
• Rocker bottom feet
• Delayed growth
• Small jaw (mycrognathia)
• Small head (microcephaly)
• Low-set ears
• Strawberry-shaped head
• Severe developmental delays
• Umbilical or inguinal hernia
Santorum's move makes Romney the all but certain Republican nominee, although Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul both remain active in the race.
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