Parents Honour Terminally Ill Daughter's Wish To Choose 'Heaven' Over 'Hospital'

Two parents have made a promise to honour their terminally ill five-year-old daughter's heartbreaking wish.

When Julianna next falls ill, her parents won't take her to hospital, and when the time comes they will allow her to die at home.

Julianna wears an oxygen mask to help her breathe

Julianna suffers from a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects peripheral nerves in the body.

The incurable disease causes foot deformity, loss of muscle in the legs and makes movement, balance, swallowing and breathing difficult.

With Julianna's illness, any germ that comes her way could kill her, but the five-year-old told her parents next time this happens, she doesn't want to go to hospital for treatment.

Julianna's mother, Michelle Moon, posted the heartbreaking exchange she had with her daughter on her blog, Julianna Yuri.

Me: Julianna, if you get sick again, do you want to go to the hospital again or stay home?

J: Not the hospital

M: Even if that means that you will go to heaven if you stay home?

J: Yes

M: And you know that mummy and daddy won’t come with you right away? You’ll go by yourself first.

J: Don’t worry. God will take care of me.

M: 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 mummy and daddy.

J: I understand.

An extract from Michelle Moon's blog

Speaking about the exchange, Moon told CNN: "Very clearly, my daughter was telling me that getting more time at home with her family was not worth the pain of going to the hospital again.

"I made sure she understood that going to heaven meant dying and leaving this Earth. And I told her that it also meant leaving her family for a while, but we would join her later.

"Did she still want to skip the hospital and go to heaven? She did."

A bioethicist - a person who studies controversial ethical issues - told CNN a child of this age would not be able to understand the concept of death, explaining this concept would not develop until she was nine or 10 years old.

However Julianna's parents and doctor disagreed, arguing that with Julianna's condition, her quality of life deteriorates as time goes by.

Julianna's doctor said, according to Mashable: "It makes a lot of sense to listen to [Julianna]. I have the utmost faith in her mother and father... For her, there is no light at the end of the tunnel."

Currently, the five-year-old's condition remains stable. Moon said she will update people on her condition via her blog and Instagram.


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