Terminally ill girl gets early Christmas

Posted at 11:17 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 23:17:30-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Many families are gearing up for the holidays, with Christmas only weeks away.

But, one Port St. Lucie family is celebrating weeks early for their 4-year-old daughter, fearing she might not live long enough to see her favorite holiday.

Iciana, or "Icy" Johnson was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March. Her mother, Phantaegia Johnson, says doctors tried treatments for the tumor that weren't successful.

Her family decided to put Icy in the care of Treasure Coast Hospice.

"She says, 'you know? I'm going to be okay. I'm going to be with papa in heaven'," Johnson said.

Johnson says it's unknown how much more time Icy has. But, knowing her time is limited, Johnson says she wanted to make sure they could celebrate her favorite holiday with her one more time.

Treasure Coast Hospice stepped in to make sure that happened, bringing everything that makes Christmas magical for a child to Icy's home.

Employees and community volunteers collected lights, presents and decorations. Carolers and Santa Claus found their ways to her front door.

Patrice Austin, Director of the Little Treasures, the Pediatric division of Treasure Coast Hospice, says it's their privilege to bring joy to children facing end of life.

"If we learn something that they're really wanting or need, we try to make those things happen. We have wonderful foundations that support us in the community that help us to be able to do things like this," Austin said.

Austin says the Christmas celebration was also for Icy's family, just as much as it was for Icy. "When you have a little one that's sick and facing end of life, families understand what is important, so any moment like this becomes a jewel forever."

Items were donated from A&G pools, Lowe's in St. Lucie West, Little Smiles, The Cake Lady and Bed Bath & Beyond in Tradition.