An Oregon girl plagued by a severe illness and faced with the controversial “Heaven or hospital” decision has died.
On Tuesday, 5-year-old Julianna Snow officially left for Heaven.
A year ago, the bubbly Portland girl sparked an internationally contentious discussion when she picked Heaven over the hospital, choosing to die rather than endure more pain.
“I am stunned and heartbroken, but also thankful. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world, for God somehow entrusted me with this glorious child, and we got almost six years together,” the girl’s mother, Michelle Snow, posted on her blog after Julianna’s death.
For the entirety of her short time on earth, the brave little girl suffered through a incurable, severe neuromuscular illness called Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease.
Countless, painful procedures in the place she “hated” the most, the hospital, had taken the girl from her home where she loved to play dress-up, make up stories, and get her toenails painted.
Last year, when Julianna was just 4 years old, her parents presented her with an unthinkable question: ‘Would you rather go back to the hospital, or to Heaven?”
Julianna’s courageous response, recorded in her mother’s blog, captivated the world:
Michelle: Julianna, if you get sick again, do you want to go to the hospital again or stay home?
Julianna: Not the hospital.
Michelle: Even if that means that you will go to heaven if you stay home?
Michelle: And you know that mommy and daddy won’t come with you right away? You’ll go by yourself first.
Julianna: Don’t worry. God will take care of me.
Michelle: And if you go to the hospital, it may help you get better and let you come home again and spend more time with us. I need to make sure that you understand that. Hospital may let you have more time with mommy and daddy.
Julianna: I understand.
Michelle: (crying) — I’m sorry, Julianna. I know you don’t like it when I cry. It’s just that I will miss you so much.
Julianna: That’s OK. God will take care of me. He’s in my heart.
Julianna’s parents, along with her doctors, abided by the girl’s wishes, and she passed away, assured that Heaven was waiting.
“She fought hard to be here, harder than I’ve seen anyone fight, with a body that was too frail for this world. She was so brave — and I hated that she had to be so brave,” Moon wrote.
“Today she is free. Our sweet Julianna is finally free.”