Francia Raísa, one of the new stars of grown-ish, said both Gomez, 25, and herself had a hard time recovering after the actress gave her friend a new lease on life early last summer.
“Recovery was hard,” Raísa, 29, said in an interview with W Magazine. “I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to drink anything. Selena did have a complication, too.”
“A few hours after our surgery, I woke up and had a text from her that said, ‘I’m really scared,'” Raísa revealed. “My kidney was very active, and when she turned, she broke an artery. They had to take her into emergency surgery and get a vein from her leg and build a new artery to keep my kidney in place.”
The actress added, “She could have died.”
The two friends spoke about the transplant and lupus complications that Gomez was suffering from in October during an interview with TODAY‘s Savannah Guthrie.
“My kidneys were just done,” Gomez said. “That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life. The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match.”
She added, “The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real.”
RELATED VIDEO: Selena Gomez & Friend Francia Raisa Open Up About 2nd Emergency Surgery After Life-Saving Kidney Transplant
Gomez opened up about the complication during the interview, recalling doctors telling her she would need another surgery as the new kidney was turning around inside of her body.
“My teeth were like grinding, I was freaking out,” Gomez explained. “It was a six-hour surgery that they had to do on me, and the normal kidney process is actually two hours.”
She added, “Apparently one of the arteries had flipped. I’m very grateful that there are people who know what to do in that situation.”
Gomez has been open about her battle with lupus for several years, and first revealed in 2015 that she’d undergone chemotherapy to treat the disease. Lupus causes the immune system to attack its own organs and tissues and can affect the whole body. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, about half of all cases of systemic lupus affect a major organ such as the heart, lung, kidneys or brain. In some cases, it can take years for the disease to be diagnosed and properly treated.
Raisa said the experience brought them even closer. “I am beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life but changed mine in the process,” she said.