No one guessed little Giselle had a heart problem until a routine doctor’s check-up at seven months old. But her short, joy-filled life ended with visions of Jesus and heaven, a comfort to those who loved her most.
“I don’t know why Giselle was born this way,” says Tamrah Janulis, Giselle’s mother. “That’s one of the questions I will ask God.”
At seven months, doctors discovered a congenital heart defect known as tetralogy of Fallot, the most common cause of blue baby syndrome. Tamrah and husband Joe were completely surprised when doctors informed them that Giselle lacked a pulmonary valve and arteries.
“I thought there was nothing wrong,” Tamrah recalls. “I wasn’t prepared. I was at the hospital and my world completely stopped. I was in shock, speechless.”
Some medical experts said Giselle — the youngest of four children — could live to be 30, others said she should not be alive at all.
Two months later, doctors performed heart surgery and discovered the connections between Giselle’s heart and lungs looked like “a bowl of spaghetti” or “a bird’s nest,” with small thread-like veins that had sprung up, attempting to compensate for the missing arteries.
After this surgery, experts recommended a variety of additional surgical options, some rare procedures considered risky.
Tamrah and Joe decided against further surgeries, but followed doctors’ prescriptions for a litany of medicines. “I gave her meds every other hour and shots twice a day,” Tamrah says. “I carried her everywhere and never let her out of my sight.”
A bright child, Giselle learned the alphabet at 10-months-old. “Nothing stopped Giselle,” Tamrah says. “She loved going to the zoo. She rode horses with me. She did everything.”
“We’re a very musical family and Giselle was always singing,” she adds.
After her second birthday, she had her first vision of Jesus. It happened in their family room, only a few weeks before her passing.
“Hey Jesus. Hi. Hi Jesus,” she said, to her mom’s surprise.
“What do you see, babe? Tamrah asked.
“Hi Jesus. Hi,” little Giselle continued, her eyes wide with delight.
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