JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When Abby McCardle first reported for work at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), she knew her way around.

The new RN assigned to the second floor of the Blair E. Batson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi had been there as a 17-year-old chronic lung disease patient.

“I met people whose faces were familiar, but I wasn’t sure if I knew them from when I was in the hospital,” she said.

Then the nurse educator of the unit, Brittany Adams, asked, “Weren’t you my patient in 270?”

McCardle was her patient, and the memories came flooding back.

“They took such good care of me at the children’s hospital over the years,” she said, “and I loved seeing my doctor as an outpatient, too. I’m healthy today because of Children’s of Mississippi care.”

Born at 28 weeks, McCardle has had chronic lung disease throughout her life. Half a lung was removed when she was 5, and at age 10, she was an intensive care patient at Mississippi’s only children’s hospital after becoming septic because of her lung condition.

“I grew up in and out of the hospital,” McCardle said, “so I knew I wanted to grow up to take care of kids. Being a patient gave me a unique perspective.”