Sarah Hyland contemplated suicide before having a second kidney transplant

Sarah Hyland has a new extensive cover profile in Self Magazine. She opens up for the first time about the fact that she had to have a second kidney transplant last year, this one donated by her brother, after her body rejected her father’s donated kidney. Sarah has had health problems her whole life and has had about sixteen surgeries total. She’s needed about six in less than a year and a half including one to repair a hernia and another to treat her endometriosis. She’s gone through so much, and she got so depressed after her body rejected the first kidney that she contemplated suicide. Sarah has previously revealed that she suffers from kidney dysplasia, a condition where the kidneys don’t form properly in utero. In this interview she goes in depth with what she went through over the past couple of years, and says that there’s no shame in asking for help. The good news is that she met her boyfriend, Wells Adams, right before she had her second transplant and he’s been a great support to her.

The potential of a second kidney transplant was promising for Hyland’s physical health. But the emotional trauma from the first rejection and fear that it would happen again was overwhelming, and detrimental to her mental health.

“I was very depressed,” she says. “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.” As someone who self-identifies as a control freak and micromanager, she says she felt completely helpless. “For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn’t want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad,” she says. She was afraid of adding another painful chapter to her book of lifelong health struggles, and anxious about feeling like she would be a burden to her loved ones, even as they insisted that she was not. “I had gone through [my whole life] of always being a burden, of always having to be looked after, having to be cared for,” she says, explaining her thought process during this dark time.

Talking about her suicidal thoughts with someone close to her helped, Hyland says. She encourages others going through a hard time to be open about their feelings with their own support networks. “It’s not shameful,” she says. “For anybody that wants to reach out to somebody but doesn’t really know how because they’re too proud or they think that they’ll be looked upon as weak, it’s not a shameful thing to say. It’s not a shameful thing to share.”

If people do try to shame you about anything regarding your health, physical or mental, or if they drop you from their lives after you share your health struggles, well, Hyland’s been there, too. “If someone acts like that, feel sorry for them that they can’t be a compassionate, loving human being,” she says, quickly allowing for the possibility that the other person may be going through stuff of their own. Still. “You don’t need that type of person in your life. I’ve experienced that, and it’s heartbreaking,” she says. “But as soon as you realize their true colors and what type of person they really are, it’s … a very freeing sensation.”

[From Self]

It just shows that you never know what anyone is going through. The sad thing is that Sarah probably felt like she had to tell this to people, because fans were questioning her health. There were anorexia rumors about her last year, when she was on dialysis and her body was rejecting the kidney. She said at the time that she was having health problems. She recently lost one of her young cousins to a drunk driver, but that was so recent I’m assuming she gave this interview before that. She’s had such a rough time.

Here’s a video of her interview, she cries and it’s hard to take. She also shows her abdominal scars and the little pooch she has where her lower stomach sticks out. I think it’s barely noticeable but she’s very self conscious of it. She also thanks all her family and friends at the end and it’s really sweet. Sarah also credits her dogs and her career with helping her get through the rough times.


Photos are screenshots from YouTube and via Instagram

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27 Responses to “Sarah Hyland contemplated suicide before having a second kidney transplant”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    I feel for her – my mom is chronically ill and has been her whole life, it’s so hard to watch her struggling. Much love to Sarah

  2. Lucy says:

    Ugh. This is all so sad. The bit about the suicidal thoughts is the worst. And she seems like such a nice gal. All the best for her.

  3. Erinn says:

    Ugh this is heartbreaking. I’m having a really bad pain day thanks to chronic illness, and I’m Sarah’s age. It freaking sucks being sick in a way that doesn’t have a cure at any age, but it reallly sucks in your teens and twenties. Everyone around you is on the move doing so many things and you feel held back. It’s incredibly lonely at times even when you have the most supportive of friends and family because they just can’t fully understand even when they try.

    I’m just so thankful that my condition is non-progressive, nondegenerative and I don’t have my organs under attack. It breaks my heart knowing how bad some days are for me and knowing that I have it so much better than so many other people.

    • Dani says:

      Sorry you’re going through such a tough time, Erinn. Hang in there! Big hugs to you.

    • IMUCU says:

      I totally understand Erinn, I have an autoimmune disease and some days are just bad. Even though it’s been a few years for me now, I still have to remind myself to rest enough on good days, so I don’t inadvertently add in more bad days for myself. It’s a tricky balance of almost always feeling like I didn’t get enough done and knowing I have to be mindful of taking care of myself constantly and what the implications of that are if I don’t. It can be exhausting and disheartening sometimes; a good support system really is necessary. I can’t imagine the fear and sadness Sarah must have not knowing how her body is going to respond. I’m glad to read about her actively working on her recovery and appreciate her sharing her story with others; it helps draw awareness to “invisible” illnesses. I wish her, and you, well!

  4. Steff says:

    I wouldn’t be able to handle being in the public eye, having to deal with being chronically ill then having millions of strangers make ignorant comments about how you look.

    • otaku fairy says:

      Me neither, not with the gossip too. Her struggles kind of remind me of Selena Gomez and her health problems too. It’s probably really hard to be in the public eye and not even be able to have health problems without people turning them into gross (and at times misogynistic) conspiracy theory fodder. Poor Sarah.

  5. Serphina says:

    My heart goes out to her. I pray she finds her way with this. What a brave young woman to open up and let others know they are not alone.

  6. manda says:

    Wow, I really admire this woman. I knew some of her story but hearing her speak is inspiring

    That KUPA thing was so funny!!!

  7. Lucky says:

    I wouldn’t wish kidney issues on anyone. Dialysis is life sucking, my beloved late FIL had to do it the last 3-4 years of his life and it was hell. Poor young lady, I hope her health improves.

  8. Spicecake38 says:

    *I had gone my whole life of always being a burden,of always being looked after,cared for-*
    I’m paraphrasing her words,but I’m in tears reading what she has said.This year brought breast cancer to my life,and from that I am well.I’ve undergone reconstruction that is proving more painful and difficult than I expected.I expect it’s the stress of being,of enduring,that is now causing my Crohn’s disease to flare ,(right at Christmas and holiday when I’m needed the most by my family 😕)I’m going through treatments,and planning future tests.I am sorry for complaining,I’m sorry for being sad, I feel guilty because my strength has lessened and now I need,while I’m supposed to give.
    Chronic illness is a vicious cycle and I’m sorry for Sarah’s troubles,but feel gratitude to her for sharing her struggles and problems.

    • Chaine says:

      Please don’t feel guilty, it sounds like you have been put through the wringer health wise and you are still recovering. Having been in their shoes with a family member going thru breast cancer, I bet most of your family and friends know that you are still healing and no way holding it against you. I was just thankful my family member was still with me and that we could spend time together.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Your family is there to take care of you as much as you are there to take care of them. That’s what a good family does for each other. Don’t be so hard on yourself for conditions outside of your control.

    • OriginalLala says:

      many hugs to you Spicecake – my momma has Crohn’s too, it’s a really difficult illness to manage and live with. Sending my love your way.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Thank you everybody for all of your kindness 💕

  9. Electric Tuba says:

    I dunno maybe think about her words before posting about a woman’s looks in general. Including bump watch shenanigans or who wore it better fashion posts or saying you think someone is on drugs when you don’t know. Gossip kills

  10. Case says:

    I really admire her for speaking about this. It will help so many young girls dealing with illnesses and disabilities who feel like they’re the only young people going through these things.

  11. Veronica S. says:

    Chronic illness is a bear. I really hope this second transplant takes well, though I’m aware that drugs to maintain it come with a whole host of immune system issues in the years after. I can’t imagine Hollywood is a great industry to be in when ill, either.

  12. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I am so glad that she is doing better. Her health shows in this season of Modern Family. Her chin is less heart-shaped and she just seems like she is in better health. Hopefully there are better days ahead for Sarah!

  13. Svea says:

    I’ve always liked her and was aware of her health issues even before the first transplant. She is a talented actress and not too showy. I hope she has a nice long run of everything being in balance now.

  14. Michelle says:

    Bless her heart! I always knew she had some medical issues, but sometimes you just hear things and no truly LISTEN. Hearing her talk about it really brought it home. She has been through an awful lot in her young life and how she can manage everything including acting in a TV show is incredible. Kudos to her and I hope she continues to heal.

  15. molly says:

    I want nothing but good things for Sarah. Her and Wells are adorable together, and I hope they stay that happy for a long time.

  16. ChillyWilly says:

    Wow, she has been through it. I can’t imagine being sick since child and so.many surgeries! Good for her for being so candid about her emotions. She seems to be doing really well and still has her sense of humor which is important. Hope she continues to feel better and better.

  17. me says:

    Wasn’t her ex boyfriend abusive towards her too? This poor girl has been dealt a bad hand since birth. I really feel bad for her. Shame on the people who were mocking her. How cruel.

  18. Pandy says:

    Is that Wells in the pic with her? Very handsome, whoever he is! Good luck to her, I hope her body accepts this kidney.

  19. Karen2 says:

    …its weird how with both her & selina all the publicity is with the recipient…the givers dont seem to have a voice..Id love to know if their choices were made freely…just saying…