Sarah Hyland has had multiple hospitalizations and surgeries for her kidney dysplasia, and also has endometriosis

By Helen Murphy
July 17, 2019 04:36 PM

Modern Family star Sarah Hyland and The Bachelorette‘s Wells Adams happily shared the news of their engagement on Tuesday. And even before exchanging vows, they’ve proven their love in sickness and in health.

“He has 100% changed her life,” a source told PEOPLE late last year. “They are very much in love and he is so good to her.”

The 28-year-old actress underwent a second kidney transplant in September 2017 following a lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia. (Hyland’s first transplant, donated from her father in 2012, failed.)

Hyland met Adams in person for the first time just three days before undergoing the second transplant. (The two began flirting on Twitter that summer during his stint as the bartender in Bachelor in Paradise, but Hyland had been vocal about her not-so-secret crush on the radio DJ since his time vying for JoJo Fletcher‘s heart on season 12 of The Bachelorette in 2016.)

“He was texting me in the morning before I went into surgery, and we were FaceTiming the entire time I was in the hospital,” Hyland told SELF in December.

Adams, 35, was also around for Hyland’s painful recovery post-transplant.

“He’s seen me at my worst,” she said. “He was there through all of that. I think that’s why I feel the most beautiful in his eyes, because he still finds me beautiful after seeing all that.”

Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland
Todd Williamson/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

The experience only brought them closer.

“It was a really intimate start to a relationship to have to go through those hurdles at the very, very, very beginning when you’re just even getting to know a person,” she said. “Also, falling in love with someone before you can really be intimate. I did not believe that that was a thing, but it is.”

RELATED: Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland and The Bachelorette‘s Wells Adams Are Engaged!

Hyland — who also has endometriosis — shared a similar sentiment in April, telling PEOPLE that she “lean[s]” on Adams.

Of meeting Adams in the throes of a health crisis, Hyland said, “It definitely set a tone of: this is my life. If you can handle the fire, great. If you can’t, goodbye.”

“We kind of did a trial by fire,” she added about the start of their relationship.

Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland
Wells Adams/Instagram
Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland
Todd Williamson/January Images/Shutterstock

“Our very first date was the night before the Emmy party [in September 2017],” Hyland told PEOPLE. “I just threw him in a room of really big people and he handled it like a champ. Then another trial by fire, like, ‘Hey, I just had a lifesaving surgery, will you fly to L.A. and come over and hang out at my house and make me tacos? Thanks.'”

A source told PEOPLE in December that Hyland is “doing great” overall, though she “still has her hard days.”

“Not only has all of this been physically demanding, but the emotional and mental demands have been just as challenging,” the source said. “She has a chronic illness and she will have to deal with it for the rest of her life. She’s still working through it all.”

“She always comes off so strong and bold, and she is. But this is also so crippling,” the source added. “Still, it’s made her a stronger person.”

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