PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - When Adam Hyman was 13 years old, his life revolved around hospitals.
Doctors didn’t know what to make of Hyman’s symptoms until he came to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was diagnosed with Zollinger ellison syndrome.
The rare condition left tumors in Hyman’s pancreas and caused his stomach to produce too much acid. Doctors ultimately removed his stomach, but the problems followed Hyman to college.
During his sophomore year, Hyman suffered complications from his stomach removal and reconstruction. He spent weeks in the intensive care unit and a full year in the hospital fighting infections and other complications.
Hyman remembers it being a dark time in his life.
“One time I ran away from the hospital with an IV,” Hyman recalls.
But the care Hyman received from hospital staff inspired his decision to give back as a nurse himself.
Now, Hyman acts as an oncology nurse navigator at CHOP, where his life appears to have come full circle.
“He touches the lives of many of our patients in a different way, given his history,” says coworker Stephanie Powell, an oncology clinical nurse specialist
Powell, who has worked with Hyman for about 15 years, is one of three coworkers who have stepped up to help him as he faces another major medical hurdle.
Hyman is in need of an organ donor after developing bad kidney stones.
He didn’t have to look far after putting out feelers on social media.
Powell, a mother of four, and two other coworkers offered their kidneys up for donation and turned out to be matches.
“Not only do they take care of these children, but they’re giving their organs to their coworkers,” Hyman tells FOX 29.
“There are great people out there,” he adds. “And Stephanie is obviously one of them.”
The resilience that Powell admires in Hyman similarly manifests itself in his patients.
“There is something about them that really attaches to your heart,” Hyman says. “When you come here, it’s a real reality check how sick these kids are.”
Hyman urges the patients in his care to stay positive.
“It’s a long journey,” Hyman says. “You have to stay focused and have goals and realize you're going to come out of this.”