Seaman and her husband not just complied with her wishes, but also welcomed Somers into their house, where she spent her final months before passing away in December 2014.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 alone. Cancer doesn't just happen to one person. While the patient is certainly the one the most affected, cancer touches families, providers, and a number of other people that you may not even think about. Losing a parent to cancer can upend anyone's life, making it very difficult to return to any semblance of normalcy.
Tricia Seaman, an oncology nurse, tried her best to comfort Tish Somers, her patient when she had the same fears after she learned that her cancer had progressed and she only had months to live. Somers, however, didn't want to be comforted on that particular afternoon in March 2014. The 45-year-old single mother, whose life was centered around her son Wesley, who was 8 at the time, was preoccupied with something else, Seaman recalls to PEOPLE. "I want you to take care of my son when I die," Somers begged the nurse she had just met three weeks earlier as she sat in her bed at the UPMC Community Osteopathic Hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Seaman and her husband not just complied with her wishes, but also welcomed Somers into their house, where she spent her final months before passing away in December 2014 from epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a rare vascular malignancy. They also welcomed Wesley into their already-large family of four children. "It just became very clear, very fast that this is what we were meant to do," Seaman, 49, says. "We all just clicked. We just fell in love with them."
After all these years, Seaman and her husband Dan have complied with the dying woman's wish and adopted him as part of the family and definitely changed his life for the better. The Seamans formally adopted Wesley in July 2020, six years after the shell-shocked kid moved in with them. Wesley, now a self-assured and contented 16-year-old who recently received his driver's license and was cast as the lead in the junior class play, says, "I can't even begin to describe how lucky and blessed I am. I'm grateful every day that they made the decision to take us in."
After years of grief counseling following his mother's passing, Wesley is now leading the life that Somers hoped for her son before she passed away. A sweet remembrance of his mother's love of milkshakes, Wesley recently obtained a part-time job scooping ice cream. "He's growing up and moving on. I'm just incredibly proud of him and eternally blessed to be a small part of his journey — and it's something I'll honor until I draw my last breath," Seaman shares. Wesley echoes that emotion, adding, "They mean everything to me."
After their story was shared on People, Tricia took to Facebook, writing an extremely emotional motivational note to her readers. She was humbled by the story being shared, wondering who else must have cancer and must be feeling this way. "I often wonder if there is someone somewhere who needs to hear it, someone who has cancer and is feeling hopeless, or maybe a single mom feeling really alone. I don’t wonder because I want someone to read about us, I wonder because I’m hoping if there is someone seeing this - they get the real message of the story here. God is our hope, He is our provision- and He is still in the business of miracles just know that with God - you are never alone," she wrote.