When last year Selena Gomez was diagnosed with lupus, a life-threatening autoimmune disease, and she needed a kidney transplant, her best friend stepped up to the plate and saved the singer’s life. Francia Raisa has recently opened up about donating her kidney and showed the scars she was left with after the operation in a video interview with Self magazine, Insider reports.
The actress also spoke about how difficult the recovery process was.
“Selena and I both went through a depression,” the 29-year-old said. “She had some complications with hers and she has bigger scars … I remember getting a text message from Selena saying, ‘I’m so scared I might die.'”
The 25-year-old pop star required an additional procedure to stabilize the new kidney, but thankfully, doctors were able to resolve the complication.
“I was like, ‘What?’ And I – I was calling someone and that’s when when she got the complication where the kidney turned and broke an artery,” Raisa said. “And she had to go back in and they actually had to take a vein out of her leg, so she has a scar right here, and um, build a wall around her artery. She could have died.”
I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith
The road back to health has been very long: Raisa hasn’t been able to perform physical activities until very recently.
“I actually just started dancing again … it was rough for a couple of months because I’m not used to not being active,” the Grown-ish actress said. “Having people help me take a shower was very humbling. I mean, this might be TMI, but little things like reaching back, to wipe, I couldn’t do. I couldn’t pick up my dog; he’s 16 pounds. That was rough.”
Donating a kidney is not consider a dangerous procedure. According to the National Kidney Registry, the mortality rate for kidney donors is only 0.03%. However, once they’ve parted with one of their kidneys, donors need to lead a very healthy lifestyle and be careful not to sustain injuries. They are, however, perfectly capable of leading normal lives, even if there is an increased risk of them developing kidney diseases or high blood pressure. Still, it is a major surgical procedure and it takes a long time to recuperate after it, even for someone as young as Raisa.
Watch Francia Raisa’s full interview with Self right here:
It’s an amazingly selfless gesture, isn’t it? Do you have any similar stories? Share them in the comments!