Francia Raisa has previously detailed her difficult physical recovery after she donated a kidney to best friend Selena Gomez, but recently the grown-ish star recalled the toll it took on her mental health as well.
Speaking with Self about the moment Gomez, 25, revealed they were a confirmed match for the transplant procedure, Raisa, 29, said she turned to her social worker for advice about what to expect.
“It’s going to be hard, the recipient is going to glow and she’s going to recover a lot faster than the donor because she’s getting something she needs and you are losing something you don’t need to lose. It’s going to be hard,” the actress recalled of the pre-surgery conversation.
“And it was hard,” said Raisa, who added: “Selena and I both went through a depression.”
Also in the on-camera interview, Raisa walked fans through the steps of the transplant as she had the button on her jeans undone to show her “C-section scar” and the marks on her stomach area.
“Your scars don’t define you. It’s a part of your story. It’s a part of the story that makes you special and you different,” she emphasized as she also noted that Gomez has a scar on the inside of her leg due to an emergency surgery following the transplant.
Gomez shocked fans in September 2017 when she announced that, due to complications of the autoimmune disease lupus, she had received a kidney transplant from Raisa over the summer.
“Recovery was hard,” Raisa said in an interview with W Magazine earlier this month. “I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to drink anything.”
In February, Raisa told Harry Connick Jr. that she was “unable to move for two months” post-op.
“I couldn’t do anything active. All I could do was walk. That was very hard for me, and I have a dog. Every day the thing I look forward to is drinking my coffee and walking, and I couldn’t do that. It was really, really hard,” she said during her appearance on his daytime talk show Harry.
Gomez continues to be open about her battle with lupus after first revealing 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.