The Modern Family star, 28, is “doing great” overall, but “she still has her hard days,” a source close to Hyland tells PEOPLE.
“She’s now healthy when it comes to her kidneys. She’s doing well, and her levels are all good,” the source says. “But she is taking immunosuppressant drugs that make her very vulnerable to germs and disease so she has to be so cautious.”
Hyland revealed in an interview with SELF, released Monday, that she needed a second kidney transplant last year after the first one, from her father, failed.
Her 23-year-old brother Ian was thankfully a match and donated his kidney to his older sister, but Hyland said the entire situation left her “very depressed” and had her “contemplating suicide” because she was afraid of letting down her family members again after her body rejected the first kidney.
Fourteen months after the transplant surgery in Sept. 2017, Hyland is in a better state of mind, but still facing mental struggles every day with the illness.
“Not only has all of this been physically demanding, but the emotional and mental demands have been just as challenging,” the source says. “She has a chronic illness and she will have to deal with it for the rest of her life. She’s still working through it all.”
Along with the second kidney transplant to further treat her kidney dysplasia — a condition she was born with after her kidneys did not fully develop in the womb and causes frequent and painful cysts — Hyland has endometriosis, which also required surgery, and “has days when her endometriosis flares up and it’s incredibly painful.”
But after undergoing six surgeries over the last 16 months, Hyland is mentally tougher, and able to deal with body shamers on social media.
“She always comes off so strong and bold, and she is. But this is also so crippling,” the source says. “Still, it’s made her a stronger person. She can’t deal with pettiness. She is focused on her mental health and isn’t really interested in reacting to Internet trolls. It’s a waste of energy.”