Savannah Christian is a typical 23-year-old. Strong, beautiful and courageous are three words that have been used to describe her and her story.
When she was 5 weeks old, Christian was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an inherited, life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.
Her mother, Tami Christian, said “the day Savannah was diagnosed will be a day I never forget.”
It was a hot summer day that started like any other. Tami Christian woke up, fed Savannah, then did her daily routine of cleaning the house, feeding the dogs, etc.
The day went by fast. Then it was time for her daughter’s doctor appointment. She sped to the hospital and waited eagerly for the doctor to call them to the back for the baby’s checkup.
For some reason, Tami said she was more nervous on this day than she had been for previous doctors appointments. The doctor told Tami that Savannah had not gained any weight and had a cough, so he wanted to conduct more research. He later diagnosed Savannah with cystic fibrosis.
Tami Christian said she was devastated and began to weep and cry to God when she received the news. Tami immediately cleared her schedule to get Savannah another doctor’s appointment.
After scheduling the appointment, Tami called everyone she knew to pray about Savannah. She said she knew God could work miracles, but wasn’t sure if it was part of his plan.
Tami visited multiple doctors and took time to pray before and after every visit. On Aug. 30, 1994, Tami and her husband, Mark, were on the way to the last doctor’s appointment when they received multiple phone calls from friends and family praying for them and giving them support.
Tami said the doctor wanted to do another test. Everything came back positive again.
The next two days, Mark and Tami Christian loved on their daughter, Savannah, the best way they knew how before taking her to the Medical University of South Carolina. The doctors said they wanted to conduct one more test to get a clear vision on Savannah’s lungs.
Doctors took Savannah into the room to do the test, but the results were not what they expected. The test showed no sign of cystic fibrosis.
The doctors were shocked, and so was Tami. “I knew the Lord would protect my baby girl,” she said. Even if it had not gone away, I knew she would be okay.”
Savannah is now 23 and has had no lung problems. She is thankful. She believes she experienced a miracle and lives daily for the Lord.
Savannah planned to study medicine at the University of Mississippi because she was grateful for all of the hard work doctors did to help her family understand what she was going through. However, she later realized medicine was not the right field for her and switched to speech pathology so she would still be able to help others.
Savannah lives a normal life now without any symptoms or signs or cystic fibrosis. She grew up hearing parts of her medical story, but did not understand how rare it is for a cystic fibrosis diagnosis to disappear without any signs.
Savannah believes people go through struggles to become stronger. Four years ago, her father died of a heart attack. Soon after his death, her mother, Tami, had all her children checked for heart disease. All tests were negative except for Savannah’s younger sister who has a bicuspid aortic valve and will soon have open heart surgery.
When Savannah’s mother, Tami, learned her other daughter must have surgery, she knew she wanted it to take place at the MUSC since they took great care of Savannah as an infant.
The Medical University of South Carolina has played a big part in Savannah and Tami’s lives. Savannah said she believes the Lord placed her in an amazing hospital with excellent doctors.
Savannah has graduated from the University of Mississippi and is moving to Rome for a year to do mission work through Campus Crusade. She said she wants to dedicate her life to the Lord because he has never left or forsaken her. Savannah and Tami Christian say the miracle they experienced has changed their lives forever.