The Modern Family actress started dating the former Bachelorette contestant in September 2017, just as she underwent her second kidney transplant for kidney dysplasia

By Dana Rose Falcone Jackie Fields
April 25, 2019 09:00 AM

Sarah Hyland revealed in 2012 that she underwent her first kidney transplant following a lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia. After the first transplant failed, the Modern Family star, 28, had a second one in September 2017. Now, as her health battle continues, Hyland feels lucky to have boyfriend Wells Adams by her side.

“I lean on my boyfriend,” Hyland tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

The actress and former Bachelorette contestant, 34, met three days before she had her second transplant surgery.

Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams
Presley Ann/Getty

“It definitely set a tone of: this is my life. If you can handle the fire, great. If you can’t, goodbye,” the actress shared while opening up about her self-care journey, which she penned an essay about in Transformation by Olay, the beauty brand’s upcoming waterproof bath book.

RELATED VIDEO: Sarah Hyland Says She Would ‘Write’ Mental Suicidal Letters to Loved Ones Amid Chronic Heath Battle

Adams texted her before the surgery, and then the pair FaceTimed throughout Hyland’s recovery in the hospital.

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

“Our very first date was the night before the Emmy party [in September 2017],” says Hyland. “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.’ “

The former Nashville DJ has continued to support Hyland as she faces ongoing health issues. Hyland was hospitalized last month for pink eye and an upper respiratory infection, and when she got home from the hospital, she found Adams and their dogs waiting to celebrate National Puppy Day.

“Every day is National Puppy Day,” they agreed on Instagram.

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