By Rebecca Powell
If you want to hear a story about a nurse saving a little boy you’ve started reading the right passage. However, this story is a little different. A MUSC Ophthalmic Technician not only takes care of her patient when he is admitted, but ends up taking care of him for the rest of his life.
Susan Jager Oman thought it would just be another day at work at MUSC, when she saw a beautiful little six-year-old boy named Christian. Christian had just been sent in from Grand Strand Medical Center, where he was admitted because a motel worker had called DSS on his birthmother after he had fallen down concrete steps at a motel, where he then called home. For 6 months, Christian had been complaining to his birthmother about headaches and nausea. This went on for so long without any care that Christian soon lost his eyesight. It got so bad he could not even see the stairs. At Grand Strand Medical Center they referred him to MUSC because of his complication and then they found the tumor.
Christian needed surgery because of this tumor. And the only reason it was caught, was because he fell down the stairs. On the way to surgery at MUSC, he was brought into Susan’s clinic in a little red wagon and the moment she saw him, even though she didn’t know this little boy, she knew then that he would be her child. As she says in an interview “From the very beginning, God had a hand in this.”
The doctors diagnosed Christian with medullobastoma and had the tumor removed, but he also had hydrocephalus at this point, which is a condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain that caused so much pressure on his brain that it had caused him to go blind. He was in the hospital for months until they found him a foster family. The foster family that took care of Christian was amazing, and with them, Christian learned about God and the importance of faith for the first time. His foster mother brought him to all of his appointments where she had become familiar with Susan Jager Oman. The foster mother realized Susan and Christian’s connection since she started coming into the hospital. Every time the foster mother came in with Christian to take him to chemo, she would grab Susan to accompany them.
It was around Christmas time 2007 when the Lord spoke to Susan saying, “This is the child I want you to have, go do something about it.” She went home that night and told her husband Eric Oman about Christian and the message she had received from God. She told him that she wanted to adopt this little boy and made a promise to God that day that she would take care of him for as long as God needed her to. She went the next day and filed the paperwork to adopt Christian. Eric had agreed to this and they both knew it was going to be hard and had no idea what the future would hold. On the second day that Christian had come to live with Susan and Eric he started calling them mom and dad. “It was always like it was meant to be,” Susan said, “there was never any awkwardness between us, and no doubt in my mind that we were meant to be a family.”
Susan never thought Christian would get cancer again, but unfortunately this is something that happens even though sometimes families are not warned of the possibility. Susan has taken in this little boy who had nothing and made him her son knowing of what he had endured, been there during the hard times and now would have to go through it again. They were meant to be a family and she knows there are a lot of families going through what she is going through. “This isn’t rare.” “There is a lot of families going through this and People need to know, and know that there is other families just like yours feeling what you are feeling even though it feels like a lonely and isolated situation.” Christian had always struggled with reactions and blindness and spasms from having chemo radiation, but something else was not right. When Christian started developing symptoms again in the summer of 2016, she took immediate action. Christian started having short-term memory loss, weakness, seizures where his all of his limbs spasm up to 12 hours at a time and eventually almost complete hearing loss.
October 2016, doctors discovered Christian had a reoccurrence of medullobastoma that was inoperable during an MRI. They also they found something in his spine, however if they took a biopsy, it would paralyze him. Christian was then given 1-2 years to live after this diagnosis. However, both Susan and Christian have maintained their faith and have let God guide their way. July 2016, during a routine MRI, doctors found a blood clot on the left side of Christian’s brain. The blood clot was pulling in all of the blood and putting pressure on the brain making his seizures worse, which called for another surgery. In most diagnosis, Christian may have one more year to live but like most of us, he has dreams. His dream is to go to Israel and see where Jesus walked. Because of his condition he had not met protocol, but now with his condition worsening, his doctors have sent in the referral for eligibility. Given his newfound growing faith, seeing the place where Jesus walked would provide meaning to a life filled with struggle and uncertainty.
This is why we are telling the story of Christian Oman. We are calling anyone and everyone to help make this dream trip to Israel, a reality. He needs to make this trip now before he gets too unhealthy to make the trip and there isn’t too much time left. The kindness that has been shown and the relationships that have been made, is truly a blessing from God,” said Susan Jager.
You can donate by going to their Go Fund Me page or she has also mentioned that gas and grocery card donations are always helpful, but if anything keep Christian in your prayers. If you would like to donate or learn more about Christian’s story please contact Heather Ace at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: A Healing Grace Organization