The family asks for privacy and prayers for the three-year-old, who suffers from a rare disorder.


Rick Santorum holds his daughter Bella at an event in June. Associated Press

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Rick Santorum and his wife Karen's three-year-old daughter Bella is back in the hospital, according to a Friday e-mail from his campaign. The release did not detail how serious Bella's condition was, but the child had a rare genetic disorder called Trisomy 18 that claims the lives of most children within a year of birth.

"Rick and his wife Karen have taken their daughter Bella to the hospital. The family requests prayers and privacy as Bella works her way to recovery," said a statement from communications director Hogan Gidley.

Bella Santorum was last hospitalized in January with a case of pneumonia. Rick Santorum left the campaign trail just days before the Florida primary to be with his family near his home in Virginia. She recovered within a few days in what Santorum called a "miraculous turnaround."