Sarah Hyland is opening up about her health struggles with kidney dysplasia, revealing in a recent interview with Self magazine that she quietly underwent a second kidney transplant in September of 2017 after her body rejected the first.
“What most people don’t know is that about two years ago exactly I went into rejection,” she told the outlet in the interview published Monday. “We did all of these tests and all of these treatments to try and save the kidney. Christmas break, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, my birthday — all of that spent in the hospital.”
Despite the various treatments, nothing worked, and the Modern Family star’s doctor revealed that the kidney, donated by her father in February of 2012, was too far gone. Hyland eventually was put on dialysis, a temporary treatment that led to severe weight loss, which then prompted criticism from fans on social media.
In May of 2017, doctors removed the transplanted kidney, with Hyland being matched with a new kidney from her 23-year-old brother, Ian, who was a match, though the actress admitted that the second transplant caused her to fall into a depression after feeling as though she had failed.
“I was very depressed,” she said. “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.”
In September of 2017, Hyland underwent a second kidney transplant. The surgery came just days after she had begun dating The Bachelorette alum Wells Adams, whom she credited being by her side through it all, including “severe pain after the transplant” due to endometriosis and a previously undiagnosed abdominal hernia, which led to more surgeries.
“He’s seen me at my worst,” she said of Wells. “He was texting me in the morning before I went into surgery, and we were FaceTiming the entire time I was in the hospital. I think that’s why I feel the most beautiful in his eyes, because he still finds me beautiful after seeing all that. 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.”
After seeking support for her mental health from a close friend and undergoing more surgeries, the Modern Family star is says that she is now “stable. I’m thriving. I’m super happy with life.”