NINA SCHOLAR PROFILES
Adrian Ruiz says, “My daughter and her fight for life is why I left behind a career in the military, embraced nursing and wanted most to work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.” The dedicated father was serving with the Army in Alaska when his oldest daughter was born without kidney function, a cleft lip and cleft palate. Her prognosis at birth was not good; she was in the NICU on a ventilator and dialysis for two months. At Adrian’s request, the Army transferred them to Phoenix for two years for the required treatment and surgeries, the most critical being a kidney transplant in 2008. Adrian gave his daughter the kidney.
In October 2015, at 31 years of age, married with two children and a third on the way, Adrian transitioned out of the military to pursue a nursing career. His selection as a Nina Scholar “was a scholarship that I had to have in order to make a successful transition from military to civilian and student life. To live my dream of giving back with those who had saved my daughter’s life.” He carries 14 credit hours, works as a Patient Care Tech in the NICU at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and will graduate with an associate arts degree in December. He will move on through the final stage of his journey by attending ASU and obtaining his nursing degree.