'I'm grateful every day': Thriving 16-year-old thanks nurse who adopted him after his mom died of cancer
Tricia Seaman took Wesley in eight years ago when his cancer-stricken mother pleaded with her to raise her son after her death
HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA: Oncology nurse Tricia Seaman has served the needy for many years, but the high point of her career and personal life was certainly when she adopted her son Wesley. Seaman, 49, accepted Wesley, now 16, eight years ago, when his cancer-stricken biological mother Trish Somers pleaded with her to raise her son after her death.
Seaman first crossed paths with Somers in the spring of 2014 at the Community General Hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where doctors found a tumor in the latter's abdomen. The tumor turned out to be epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a very rare vascular cancer. The nurse took care of her patient wholeheartedly and formed a bond that changed their life. During these few tough weeks, Seaman kept consoling Somers and gave her the comfort that the 45-year-old single mom needed. But one afternoon in March 2014, Somers suddenly stopped caring about herself and refused to be consoled.
She called Seaman and had some peaceful words with her. Somers then looked deep into Seaman’s eyes and said, "Can you take my son? Will you raise him if I die?" Seaman, a mom of three teenage girls and a 10-year-old boy, talked it over with her husband Dan. And the couple not just accepted Wesley, but also took Somers into their home where she spent the final months of her life before dying in December 2014.
"It just became very clear, very fast that this is what we were meant to do," Seaman, 49, recently told PEOPLE. "We all just clicked. We just fell in love with them."
Eight years have since passed, and a lot has changed in the Seaman family’s lives. Little Wesley is now a handsome, confident, and happy 16-year-old, who recently got his learner’s permit. Wesley, who spent years in grief counseling after his mother's death, is living the happy life that Somers always wanted for him. "I can't even begin to describe how lucky and blessed I am, I'm grateful every day that they decided to take us in," Wesley told People.
Tricia legally adopted Wesley in July 2020, six years after taking care of him like her own son. "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," she said.
Acknowledging how the couple cares for him, Wesley said, "They mean everything to me." Wesley is currently just focusing on his future and giving back to his parents. He recently landed the lead in the junior class play and got a part-time job scooping ice cream — a sweet reminder of his mother's love for milkshakes.