Well, the other day I found a follow up program on the same channel: “Born Without a Face: Five Years Later.” I watched, and saw that Juliana is now five years old, very bright, mostly happy, and quite adept at sign language. Her parents’ love and care is still very precious to behold.
Though Julianna’s face is still a long way from what most people would call “normal,” I was interested to hear that her parents are wondering when they should call it quits. This little girl has had 29 painful surgeries, and I know there will come a point when they don’t want to put their child through any more suffering. When will enough be enough? Juliana still eats through a stomach tube and breathes through a trach. At some point, her parents will say, “That’s enough for now,” and everyone will learn to live with whatever disabilities still exist at that point.
I found this especially interesting, because in my novel THE FACE, I had Sarah’s caregiver come to the same conclusion . . . at one point, she decided that Sarah could live with a face that was far from being structurally perfect. Sarah was able to eat, breath, and hear with a cochlear implant . . .
I don’t know what the future holds for this dear family, but when you watch Juliana, when you look past the face and see the brave spirit shining within, you can’t help but cheer her and her parents on. I’ll be remembering them in my prayers.