Photo: Rodin Eckenroth / GettyImages
Sarah Hyland revealed that she had a second kidney transplant after her first failed, resulting in mental health problems where she "had thought about suicide."
Modern Family star, 28, has kidney dysplasia – which means that her kidneys in the womb have not developed properly and often form painful cysts – and the condition required a kidney transplant in 2012. Her father donated his kidney, but in October. In 2016, her body began to refuse her.
"We did all these tests and all these treatments to try to save the kidney," Hyland told SELF about their latest digital cover. "Christmas vacation, New Year, Thanksgiving, my birthday, everything we've spent in the hospital."
But none of the treatments worked, and Hyland's doctor said the kidney was like a burning house ̵
Hyland began dialysis on a regular basis – a temporary treatment in which a machine filters blood in and out, which is usually the job of the kidney is – a hose had to be placed on her chest and caused her to lose weight. In addition to health issues, she began to grapple with criticism of her involvement in social media.
In May 2017, the doctors removed the transplanted kidney, and her younger brother Ian, 23, offered his kidney, thankfully a match. But Hyland felt in conflict. (See also: Selena Gomez opens her 5-year fight against depression.)
"I was very depressed," she said. "If a family member gives you a second chance and fails, it almost feels like it's your fault. It is not. But it does. I've been thinking about suicide for a long time because I did not want to abandon my little brother like I did my father. "
Hyland started talking to someone near her about her suicidal thoughts, which helped her out.
"It's not shameful," she says. "For anyone who wants to reach someone who does not really know what he is because he is too proud or thinks he is considered weak, that's no shame. It is not a shameful matter. (Related: Michael Phelps opens his fight with depression and suicidal thoughts)
In September 2017, she underwent the second kidney transplant. But her health problems did not end there – Hyland also had endometriosis and the pain became unbearable. She also had a previously undiagnosed abdominal hernia.
"I still had a lot of pain after the transplant, and that was on the endo and hernia," she said.
This led to further surgery – she had done six in the last 16 months and a total of 16 during her lifetime – a laparoscopic endometriosis surgery and a hernia repair operation.
"Laparoscopic [surgery is] one of the most painful things I've ever experienced my life," she said. And the endometriosis pain does not really go away. "[This week] I had a flare with my endo. It was hard to stand up, let alone work. The position of the fetus helps a lot.
But her family's support, (most) her followers on social media and her friend Wells Adams help Hyland cope with her health. She and Adams met for the first time three days before their transplant operation, and they fell in love when she underwent treatment.
"He sent me a text message in the morning before I had surgery, and we were in FaceTiming Hospital all the time I was in the US. He saw me worst. He was in all this, "she said. "I think that's why I feel the most beautiful in his eyes because he still thinks I'm beautiful after seeing all this."
And with the lengthy recovery, Hyland and Adams came closer before they could sleep together.
It was a very intimate beginning of a relationship to have to go through these hurdles to a very, very, very, very early start if you met only one person, "says Hyland. "Besides, you can fall in love with someone before you can really be intimate. I did not think that was one thing, but it is.
This story was originally published on People.com by Julie Mazziotta.