Woman, 22, positve as she undergoes 2 brain surgeries

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 18:21:21-04

A woman who has spent her entire life in and out of Children's Hospital as a patient, found herself an employee, and then a patient again. Sydney Hanel, 22, is staying positive as she prepares for two brain surgeries.

Swimming, basketball, track. Sydney Hanel has more than a dozen medals hanging over her bed from participating in the special olympics.

Also award winning, her smile. That smile is something that her family and work family have cherished for years. Sydney's work family is the phlebotomy lab at Children's hospital. It's a place she knows well. You could say she grew up here. After heart surgeries and orthopedic surgeries, even a stroke, this patient became employee.

"Sydney talks to everybody, she treats everybody the same," says Sue Venteicher with Children's, Hanel's coworker. "They all love her because she is very nice and talks to each person individually. All of our patients that come in, she treats like 100 percent like she knows them as a friend, which is very nice."

"She makes everybody laugh," Julie Hanel, Sydney's mom says. "No matter where they go: the cafeteria, the lab, someone is hugging Sydney." 

Monday, Sydney will be a patient again. Friday is the last day at work for awhile for this smiling girl. Monday and Thursday, she'll undergo two brain surgeries to stop seizures she has been having.

"{Doctors will} go and cut a question mark into the side of my brain, and put wires in to see where all the scar tissue is and what is in there. Then they want me to have two complete full seizures, and then Thursday they'll go in and make me seizure free," Syndney explained.

"You're scared, but you're relieved at the same time. You're hoping for some relief for her," mom says.

Despite that worry and anxiety, both families have Sydney's back. They're making shirts to sell at Tussey's Casual Grill, off 48th and Mormon Bridge Road. They have also started a Go Fund Me page.