In a tearful interview with Self magazine, Sarah Hyland showed off her multiple kidney transplant scars.
First, the Modern Family actress pointed out the scar from her first kidney transplant, which she received from her father. But as she revealed in the interview, her body went into "rejection" two years ago, which meant she'd have to receive another kidney — which she did, privately, from her younger brother in September 2017 after undergoing a nephrectomy, which is a surgery to remove the kidney.
"For the first transplant they cut in like this. It kind of looks like either a samurai sword attack or a shark bite," Hyland said.
After pointing out her first transplant scar, she showed her nephrectomy scar, then the second transplant scar on the other side of her torso.
"For the nephrectomy, it's pretty much the same, just in a different curvature," she said, pointing out the lines on her stomach. "And then the second transplant, they put it on the other side, so now I have that from there to there."
She revealed that the kidney "sticks out" a bit from her stomach. "When they do a kidney transplant, they connect the new kidney to your old kidneys in front. It sticks out. I call it my KUPA, kidney upper p— area. Always have. Will forever," she said.
"For me it's always hard for KUPA to be on display. Still mentally it's hard to get over that," she said. "But I think personally, for someone being so tiny to have a stomach that looks like the New Jersey turnpike just shows who I am and the kind of character I have."
As she recalled years of hospitalizations and 16 surgeries in her 27 years, Hyland cried, admitting that the rejection of the first transplant left her "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 said. "For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn't want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad."
She revealed that on top of her kidney failure, she has also been diagnosed with endometriosis — which necessitated a laparoscopic surgery — and suffered from an unknown hernia for a year, which also required surgery.
Toward the end of the interview, she revealed that she and her brother, Ian, are both healthy now.
"I'm healed. My numbers are good. I'm stable. I'm so grateful for my entire family," she said.
"I think love is the most important thing on this earth, obviously love and health. But love will get you through that. That's what keeps me going," she said, going on to say that she doesn't define herself by her health issues.
"Oh, my name is Sarah. I have two of the most amazing dogs in the entire world. I have the best boyfriend ever who has the third most amazing dog in the entire world. I have the greatest family one could ask for. I love working, love acting. I love this, and I love that. I love all of this. Oh, and also I have endometriosis. Oh, and also I have kidney failure. Oh, and also I'm a two-time kidney recipient. Oh, and also I had a freakin' hernia for almost a year that went unnoticed," she said.
"That list doesn't stop. But that list doesn't hold me back from anything. I won't let it."