Sarah Hyland hasn’t exactly been closed off about her health — the Modern Family actress has shared details about her kidney dysplasia, a kidney transplant, non-controllable weight fluctuations, and hospital selfies, to name just a few things she’s discussed in recent years — but she just took things to a whole new level in a new interview with Self.
In the digital cover story, a tearful Hyland revealed that she underwent a second kidney transplant in September 2017. That was just one of the six surgeries she’s had in the past 16 months, having also undergone treatment for endometriosis and a hernia.
In October 2016, Hyland learned that her body had begun rejecting the her first kidney transplant — donated by her dad in 2012 — and she began dialysis treatment (while also juggling her job on one of TV’s most popular sitcoms). In the meantime, her brother prepared to donate a kidney to his older sister.
The surgery was a success, but it seems like the deepest pain from all the trauma wasn’t physical; it was emotional. “When a family member gives you a second chance at life, and it fails, it almost feels like it’s your fault. And it’s not. But it does,” she said, reflecting on learning about her body’s rejection and the emotional distress that followed. “At that time, I was very depressed. For a long time I was contemplating suicide.”
Those feelings of being a constant “burden” on her family are what made it so difficult for Hyland to accept her brother’s organ upon learning he was a match. “When a second family member — someone who you’re supposed to look after, like a little brother — wants to give you a third chance at life, it’s scary because you don’t want to fail them.”
Watch Hyland show off her scars (located on her “KUPA,” or “kidney upper-pussy area”), talk about her amazing support system, and more in the emotional interview above.