AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – Santa Claus paid a special visit to the pediatric patients at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. One of those patients included Juliet Maddox, who’s spent her first Christmas in the PICU.

“Hopefully we’ll get to go home soon,” said Krista Maddox, Juliet’s mother.

5-month-old Juliet Maddox and her family are no strangers at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

“We actually came into the hospital for a couple of weeks in early October to have a feeding tube put in. Then she was home for a couple of weeks, but got readmitted on October 23rd and was there for a month. Then we came home for a week and now she’s readmitted again and for this stay, it’s been two weeks,” said Krista Maddox.

And for the Maddox family, it was no shock, that they would have to spend Christmas in the PICU.

“Well, we knew it was up in the air. We knew there was a possibility we would be able to go home, but there was a possibility that she would have to stay here. It was a hard discussion with the doctors, but we wanted what was best for our little girl,” said Marcus Maddox, Juliet’s dad.

Juliet was diagnosed with both Down Syndrome and a complete AVSD defect.

“Which means there are two large holes in the middle of her heart so all of the blood that flows through gets mixed together instead of flowing nicely through the canals,” said Krista Maddox.

But Saturday morning they got a surprise visit that made the journey a little easier to bear.

“I think she liked his beard,” said Krista Maddox.

Juliet had the chance to meet Santa Claus, which brightened up the holiday for the entire family.

“It was really special, because it kind of makes you sad seeing everyone post pictures of their kids with Santa, and with it being her first Christmas that’s always a special time to take pictures with Santa so I’m really glad she got to do that and didn’t have to miss out on it,” she said.

The Maddox family has been very generous to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia after donating 10 thousand dollars to the pediatric cardiology, PICU and Child Life center there. That money was raised through the  ‘Miss Juliet’s Walk’ put on in October. They say it’s their way of giving back.

“There’s no way we could’ve gone through all these things without the people around us, the great people at Augusta University, our employers, family friends. It’s been all of us coming together doing a little bit and it’s made a big difference,” said Marcus Maddox.

Juliet is set to undergo heart surgery once she gains more weight. You can keep up with Juliet’s Journey on her Facebook page.