While Modern Family fans have been laughing at Haley Dunphy antics on Modern Family, the actress who plays her, Sarah Hyland, has been quietly battling a serious illness. The actress reveals in the new issue of Seventeen magazine (set to hit news stands May 22) that she’s struggled with a lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia and actually underwent a kidney transplant on April 13, 2012.
The 21-year-old star, who got the new kidney from her father, says the whole experience taught her a great deal about herself and who she can really depend on in times of need. “You know that family is always going to be there for you – no matter what. My dad gave me a freakin’ kidney!” she tells the magazine. “But it’s also the families that you create outside of your family. And you really find out what kind of people you’re friends with.”
Hyland goes on to say, “It was just amazing, and it really opened my eyes to see who’s there for me and who’s not.” And this included her boyfriend, actor Mark Prokop. “He helps me with my medication and takes me to doctor appointments and all the stuff that I need to do to take care of myself,” Hyland says. “I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me.”
And while this experience has been challenging, the young star is thankful for her renewed appreciation for life. “I have a second chance at life – not a lot of people get that.” Here’s to a speedy recovery!