Oklahoma 4-year-old waits for heart transplant surgery in Houston as Harvey devastates city

Posted at 9:46 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 07:18:21-04

TULSA -- Harvey's impact is reaching Oklahoma as a four-year-old waits for a lifesaving heart transplant surgery scheduled in Houston.

In the last four years, C.J. Oden has undergone $2 million worth of operations that have kept him alive. His family, fortunately, only had to pay around $10,000 out of pocket.

He needs another surgery soon, but getting there could be a struggle.

C.J. Oden has a dream to be a firefighter one day. "Because it's awesome," he said.

But he was born with a heart defect.

"It causes him to be very blue, and have very little blood oxygen levels," said Troy Oden. He's already had three surgeries, and a fourth is just around the corner.
"When he walks into a room, he definitely lights up the room. he makes everyone smile and laugh," Steffanie Oden said.

Harvey isn't stopping the family from its plans to head to Houston for the boy's surgery in mid-September.

"If we have to sleep in our car that's what we'll do, but I know this is what he needs to do so we will do whatever it takes," Steffanie Oden said.

They leave in 11 days for his surgery on Sept. 15.

"So that's still a couple weeks away, and hopefully the water has time to dissipate," Troy Oden said.

On Wednesday, Walmart is holding a send-off for C.J. A caravan of 16 semi-trucks will drive the four-year-old from one Broken Arrow Walmart to another and a few fire trucks are set to appear.

To find out how to help the family, click here.

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