Oregon family lets dying 5-year-old daughter decide: ‘Heaven or the hospital?'

Since birth, Julianna Snow has suffered from an incurable neurodegenerative disorder that has had her in and out of the hospital, and has prevented her from going to the City Bible Church in Portland, Ore., where her family belongs.

Tribune Media Wire reported that when 5-year-old Julianna was 4, her family made her an offer: The next time she got seriously ill, she could choose to go to the hospital or heaven. There, they said, she would be able to eat without a tube, play and run-- everyday activities other kids get to engage in but ones that Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, or CMT, has robbed from Julianna. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CMT is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders, affecting about 1 in 2,500 people in the United States. The disorder impacts the peripheral nerves, which are outside the brain and spinal cord, and supply the muscles and sensory organs in the limbs.

At first, Julianna's severe case of CMT debilitated her arms and legs, but now it's targeting the nerves that control her breathing muscles, according to the wire service.

Doctors predict that, the next time the little girl gets ill with something as minor as the common cold, she stands the risk of dying from pneumonia.

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