Helping Hands

Appreciative Former Patients Volunteer Their Time at Henry Mayo.

Adam Stelmach and Deva Metz share a common goal: giving back to the hospital that saved their lives. They both volunteer at Henry Mayo and are strong hospital advocates; read on for their inspiring stories.

Helping Others Recover

In 2008, Adam Stelmach fell from the fourth story of a parking structure, suffering nearly fatal head injuries. He was rushed to Henry Mayo’s emergency department, where he was treated and placed in a medically induced coma. 

The accident left him with a brain injury that would alter his life forever. The right side of his body was paralyzed and he could not speak; his brain function was also affected. Surgeries and years of physical and occupational therapy followed. However, thanks to the support of his family, his positive attitude and the expert care he received, Stelmach has made a nearly full recovery. In 2015, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology at California State University, Northridge. 

“My recovery surprised even me,” he said. “Everyone is amazed by my current condition and how close I am to the way I was. I’m lucky to have survived, and I am grateful to Henry Mayo for saving my life.”

Now 30 years old, Stelmach volunteers at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital—giving back and gaining valuable experience that he hopes will help him get a job in social welfare. He volunteers twice a week in the Acute Rehabilitation Unit, where he once underwent physical therapy, and shares his story with patients in hopes that it will help their recovery.

“I want to help others who want to get better,” he said. “I want to make life easier for them.”

Food for the Soul

In 2014, Deva Metz nearly died from causes related to her autoimmune disease. After she was brought into Henry Mayo’s emergency department, she was in a coma for three days, followed by a stay in the intensive care unit. Prior to her discharge, she realized she wanted to become a hospital volunteer.

“This was a life-changing experience, and many people at Henry Mayo pulled me through,” Metz said. “Before I was released, I had an overwhelming sense that I wanted to pay them back. I made a goal that after my recovery, I would come back and see how I could help.”

Metz started volunteering in 2015 and hasn’t stopped since. She has dedicated more than 600 hours at the hospital, working in the palliative care program and heading the Tea for the Soul program (designed to relieve nursing staff stress) as a member of the hospital’s Auxiliary. She also volunteers in the hospital gift shop and was recently recognized for her work with an Excellence award.

“What this hospital does for the community and how it affects people’s lives is immeasurable,” Metz said. “I’m so grateful to have the honor of volunteering here; it does me so much good. It feeds my heart, mind and soul.”

To learn more about volunteering at Henry Mayo, please call (661) 200-1500 or visit our website. IYH