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Friends Remember Lincoln Nurse Who Took His Own Life
POSTED: 9:25 pm CDT September 25, 2011
LINCOLN, Neb. — The family of a Lincoln nurse who took his own life after being accused of stealing drugs, wants everyone to know how devastating depression can be.
Adam Zetterman was a bright, young man with a promising future, a man struggling with his own personal demons, according to those who knew him.
“He was really gentle and compassionate,” said Amy Olson, Zetterman’s sister. “He had a servant’s heart.”
Amy said that’s why her brother went into nursing.
“He set the goal of not only finishing nursing school, but he wanted to finish with honors,” said Olson.
Zetterman landed a job in the cardiac intensive care unit at Bryan LGH Medical Center, where some of the sickest patients go.
“He was fantastic to his patients, fantastic to his co-workers,” described Molle Barker, Zetterman’s former coworker.
It shocked everyone when he was arrested in April 2010 and charged with stealing painkillers from the hospital. While he was out on bond, he committed suicide.
“We shared the good things and the bad things, but his depression was one thing we didn’t share,” said Olson. “But it’s the one thing we wish we could have helped him with. And we did not have the chance to do that.”
Zetterman’s family said they knew he had suffered from depression out of high school. They thought it was situational, the stress and change of college life. He got treatment and everything seemed to be coming together.
“[He] had a girlfriend he loved and planned on getting married,” said Cindy Zetterman, Adam’s mother.
But he apparently stopped taking medication, though he never let on that his suffering continued.
“Right before he died he did say he had started back [on medication],” said Amy. “But he used the words, ‘it was too little too late.’”
Now, Zetterman’s family said they want to shed light on the disease that affects nearly 20,000,000 people. They planned a benefit run, and said they were taken aback when his former coworkers and the hospital where he worked wanted to sponsor the event.
“Adam was one of us,” explained Barker. “And we don’t turn our backs on one of our own.”
Zetterman’s loved ones said they also want people to know the person behind that awful news story as caring, talented soul who suffered in silence.
“Our message is to seek help,” said Olson. “Seek treatment and let someone help you.”
According to medical experts, depression is very treatable. However, only one third of the people diagnosed with depression seek help.
Adam’s Race, The Run To Overcome is scheduled for Oct. 9 in Lincoln. For more information, visit the website for the race.