Sarah Hyland may be best known for her role on Modern Family, but it’s her offscreen life that is currently making news. In a recent interview with Self, Hyland opened about battles with chronic illness — including undergoing a second kidney transplant — and how it affected her mental health.
Hyland was born with kidney dysplasia, a condition which — according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases — occurs when one or both of a fetus’ kidneys do not develop normally while in the womb. And since the kidneys are responsible for flushing urine (and toxins) from the body, an issue with the organ can result in serious health concerns.
Many people with kidney dysplasia need dialysis and/or a transplant.
Hyland needed both. In 2012, the Modern Family star received a transplant from her father after undergoing kidney failure. Then in October 2016, her body began to reject the donor kidney.
Fortunately, Hyland’s younger brother, Ian, was a match. But the emotional trauma from Sarah’s first transplant (and subsequent rejection) was overwhelming.
Of course, organ rejection is not the donor’s fault, nor is it a personal failure or shortcoming — as transplanted organs do not last forever. We completely understand Hyland’s reaction; to go through so much, so young must be extremely difficult. But Hyland isn’t dwelling on the past. She told the magazine, “I’m stable. I’m thriving. I’m super happy with life,” and for that, we are happy too.
To learn more about organ donation, visit OrganDonor.gov and/or Donate a Life.
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