Sarah Hyland is “doing really really well” after her second kidney transplant.
At a recent W Magazine party at the Chateau Marmont, the Modern Family star opened up to ET with an update on her health and what life has been like since receiving a new kidney last year.
“I’m doing really really well,” she told the news outlet. “I just came back from Mexico and that was really, really nice. The good thing about being stable, health-wise, and having an amazing significant other is that now I’m able to travel more… The last time I took a vacation before this year I was 24. I just turned 28, so I’ve just been either working on my health or working nonstop, so it’s really good to be able to do something like that now.”
The 28-year-old actress has kidney dysplasia, a disorder she was born with, and had to undergo a kidney transplant, not just once but twice.
She talked about the experience in an interview with Self magazine for their December issue , and revealed that she has gone under the knife a total of 16 times.
Her first kidney transplant was in 2012 (her dad donated one of his kidneys) and everything went well for a few years – until her body started rejecting the new kidney in October of 2016 and caused fatigue, fever and infections.
“We did all of these tests and all of these treatments to try and save the kidney,” Sarah shared. “Christmas break, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, my birthday, all of that spent in the hospital.”
Try as they might to save the kidney, nothing worked. As a last resort, Sarah even had to go through dialysis. “You can’t un-burn a house,” she said as a metaphor for the kidney damage.
In May 2017, she underwent another operation to remove the damaged kidney and receive a new kidney – donated by her younger brother.
23-year-old Ian opened about his decision to donate one of his kidneys to his sister, saying, “I’m about as stubborn as Sarah once I’ve made up my mind. I probably would have insisted on donating even if I wasn’t a match.”
He also took to Twitter to hare how proud he is of his big sister. “Proud of you, sis. You are one hell of a warrior. @Sarah_Hyland,” he wrote, adding, “And if anyone is considering donating a kidney and needs some advice or an honest disclosure, feel free to dm me. (Full disclosure though, i am infamous for not responding🙈)”
The actress retweeted the message and writing, “My amazing, selfless little brother ❤️”
Sarah bravely powered through her medical issues and even continued working on Modern Family, but admitted that she went through a period of depression.
“I was very depressed. 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. “For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn’t want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad. I had gone through [my whole life] of always being a burden, of always having to be looked after, having to be cared for.”
“My work is my therapy. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my work,” she shared. “I’m so grateful for my entire family, especially my brother, especially my dad, especially my mom.”
And, after her second kidney transplant, she had to go through two more surgeries – for endometriosis and abdominal hernia, which required two surgeries back to back.
We’re so glad to hear that Sarah is doing so much better now. But that’s not all the medical updates she’s giving – she’s also giving one about her Modern Family character, Haley, who recently revealed she was pregnant. Sarah talked about the very convincing baby bump padding they had custom-made for her on the show.
“Yeah, it’s weird especially because… I have not just one of those padded-type bellies that are weighted but an actual prosthetic that we had that looks, like, actually my belly button,” she explained. “They took, like, pictures of my skin tone and, like, matched all of this stuff to my belly, I think everything down to, like, a freckle here.”