Sarah Hyland is revealing she had a second kidney transplant, which followed a dark period when she contemplated suicide.
In a new profile with Self Magazine, the “Modern Family” star delved into her health issues. She explained her kidneys did not grow correctly when she was in utero. After experiencing kidney failure, she received a kidney from her father in 2012.
In 2016, Hyland, now 28, experienced fatigue and infections when her body starting rejecting the transplant.
“We did all of these tests and all of these treatments to try and save the kidney,” Hyland told the outlet. “Christmas break, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, my birthday (Nov. 24), all of that spent in the hospital.”
But nothing worked. She coyly shared with Instagram followers that she would need to miss the SAG Awards in January 2017 due to “health reasons”.
The following month, on Valentine’s Day, she turned to dialysis, which still did not solve the issues. Her transplanted kidney was removed in May 2017 and her brother, actor Ian Hyland, was identified as a possible donor. That news was hard for Hyland to come to terms with.
“I was very depressed,” she admitted. “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.”
“For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn’t want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad,” she continued. “I had gone through (my whole life) of always being a burden, of always having to be looked after, having to be cared for.”
Hyland shared her thoughts with a close friend and urged others to do the same.
“It’s not shameful,” she advised. “For anybody that wants to reach out to somebody but doesn’t really know how because they’re too proud or they think that they’ll be looked upon as weak, it’s not a shameful thing to say. It’s not a shameful thing to share.”
It’s been more than a year since Hyland received a kidney from her sibling in September 2017, but there are lingering repercussions. She can’t have grapefruit because of medication she is on. She also has a bulge in her lower abdomen, which she says can cause “complete meltdowns in the middle of fittings.”
“It’s this bittersweet moment of, ‘Oh my gosh. I have new life,’ but then also being an actress and being held up to this sort of pedestal of how you’re supposed to look,” she said.
Hyland’s current boyfriend, former “Bachelorette” contestant Wells Adams, was a big source of support during her ordeal.
“We met each other for the first time three days before my transplant,” she said. “He was texting me in the morning before I went into surgery, and we were FaceTiming the entire time I was in the hospital.
“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,” she added.
“I think that’s why I feel the most beautiful in his eyes,” she said, “because he still finds me beautiful after seeing all that.”
On Sunday, Adams took to social media to share his support for Hyland.
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