In her role as Haley Dunphy on Modern Family, actress Sarah Hyland’s main focus is letting viewers of the much-loved show to take a break from real life for a little while in order to laugh and smile. But for Hyland, playing that role might have been harder than anyone realized.
Indeed, in a new interview with Self magazine. Hyland admits that the last few years have been a time of intense struggle for her when it comes to her health. Specifically, Hyland says that she has to endure six surgeries in the past 16 months, including her second kidney transplant.
Fans will recall that Hyland was born with kidney dysplasia, forcing her to receive her first kidney transplant at the age of 21. But in October of 2016, her body began to reject the organ that her dad had donated to her, and she was forced to begin dialysis in February of 2017, not far from the Modern Family set.
“When you have an organ transplant, it’s basically a foreign thing in your body,” she explains. “Your immune system will want to attack it and be like, ‘What is this? This is not supposed to be here.’ “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.”
But all those treatments failed and Hyland was forced to have a second transplant. And luckily, so far so good.
“I’m stable,” she says. “I’m thriving. I’m super happy with life.”
Though she’s happy now, Sarah said she struggled with depression throughout her health journey, battling suicidal thoughts— but she confided in others to help herself cope.
“It’s not shameful,” she said. “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.”