Selena Gomez Says Kidney Transplant Was ‘Life or Death,’ Had to Undergo Second Operation: I Was ‘Freaking Out’

Selena Gomez has opened up about her kidney transplant in an emotional interview on the Today show, which aired on Monday, October 30.

Celebrity Health Scares

Last month, Gomez, 25, revealed that she secretly underwent the operation over the summer and that her good friend and former roommate, actress Francia Raisa, donated her organ.

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

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“My kidneys were shutting down. My mentality was to keep going,” Gomez explained to Savannah Guthrie with Raisa, 29, by her side. “She lived with me during this interesting time where my kidneys were just done. That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life. The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real.”

Gomez calls the experience “really kind of life or death.” Following the two-hour surgery, she remembers waking up and seeing her mom, stepdad and Raisa before retreating back to her hospital room.

“I started to attempt to fall asleep. And in the middle of that process I started hyperventilating and felt so much pain,” Gomez recalled. “My teeth — I was grinding — I was freaking out. It was a six-hour surgery that they had to do on me and the normal kidney process is two hours. Apparently one of the arteries had flipped. I’m very grateful that there are people who know what to do in that situation.”

Celebrity Injuries

The longtime friends couldn’t do much after the surgery. They were on bed rest and were only allowed to walk around for one hour each day. They also couldn’t dress themselves or take a shower.

Now, Gomez says her health has improved tremendously. Immediately following the surgery her arthritis went away, her blood pressure went done and now there is “about a 3-5 percent chance” that her Lupus will “ever come back.”

Selena’s Best Red Carpet Moments

“It’s really hard to think about or even to swallow,” she said of how her life has changed. “My energy and my life has been better.”

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