Opening up. Sarah Hyland has always been extremely candid about her health struggles and battle with kidney dysplasia, but she recently went through a particularly trying time and is finally ready to come clean. In September 2017, the Modern Family star, 28, quietly underwent a second kidney transplant after her body rejected the first, which she had in February 2012.
“What most people don’t know is that about two years ago exactly I went into rejection,” she told Self magazine in an interview published on Monday, December 10, before breaking down in tears.
Doctors discovered that the actress’ body wasn’t properly filtering out waste in October 2017, which meant the transplanted organ was being rejected. “We did all of these tests and all of these treatments to try and save the kidney,” she recalled. “Christmas break, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, my birthday — all of that spent in the hospital.”
Hyland’s dad donated his kidney the first time, but because it was eventually rejected, she felt like she failed.
“When a family member gives you a second chance at life and it fails, it almost feels like it’s your fault. It’s not, but it does,” she told the magazine.
The Wedding Year star started doing dialysis on Valentine’s Day 2017, but it was ultimately decided she needed to remove the sick kidney. Her brother, Ian, was fortunately a match, but she was hesitant to accept his organ because of what happened the first time.
“I was very depressed,” she admitted. “For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn’t want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad.”
In May 2017, the same month her doctors removed the organ, the actress was accused of promoting anorexia because of her skinny physique.
“I haven’t had the greatest year. Maybe one day I’ll talk about it but for now, I’d like my privacy,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. “I will say that this year has brought a lot of changes and with that, physical changes. I have been told that I can’t work out. Which, for me, is very upsetting.”
Hyland had her second kidney transplant in September 2017, just days after she went on her first date with The Bachelorette alum Wells Adams. “He’s seen me at my worst,” she said of her boyfriend. “I think that’s why I feel the most beautiful in his eyes, because he still finds me beautiful after seeing all that. 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.”
Now, the Lipstick Jungle alum is happier than ever. “I’m stable. I’m thriving. I’m super happy with life,” she said.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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