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Some friends go the extra mile for you, and other friends literally give you one of their kidneys. That's the bond shared by The Secret Life of the American Teenager actress Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez, with the latter receiving a kidney donation from the former back in June. Now, during an upcoming interview with Harry Connick Jr. on his talk show Harry, Raisa opened up about the process of giving a part of herself to Gomez.
During her Monday guest appearance on the daytime series (via Just Jared), Raisa discussed the transplant experience and how it took a toll on her health. While she was happy to help her celebrity friend in dire need, she found that giving one of her kidneys away was harder than receiving one.
It's harder as the donor because we are losing something our body didn't need to lose, so trying to recover from that and she's gaining something her body needed. So she's up and at it immediately and I had a hard time.
Raisa also talked about the "humbling" healing process, how she learned to depend on others for the next two months and how she eventually grew to relate to mothers everywhere, particularly ones who've had C-section operations.
I basically have four scars. It was laparoscopic, those mothers out there who had C-sections, I feel you. I don't know how you take care of a child afterwards. It is crazy! I couldn't get up without having someone help me. That was very humbling. I couldn't take a shower by myself, I had to have someone help me because I couldn't move. I'm a very very active person, so the fact that my doctor said I couldn't move for two months. Two months, I couldn't do anything active. All I could do was walk. That was very hard for me and I have a dog and 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.
The actress was comforted, however, by the outpouring of support from millions of fans, which encouraged her recovery once it was announced. The operation wasn't revealed to the public until September since both Gomez and Raisa wanted to respect the delicacy of such a major operation. Raisa also talked about how this kidney transplant made them stronger and brought them closer, now that Gomez has Raisa's blood literally inside of her. She went on to call the whole experience "amazing."
We wanted that privacy. It was a big surgery. She felt bad about even having me do that because we are just friends, I am not her family or anything. Well, I am now. She has my blood. She felt bad. We just wanted our families around and it was cool because now I have a big family. I lost my grandparents when I was younger... Her grandparents are my grandparents now and so I have this extension of a family and it's been really amazing.
Gomez revealed the details of the operation in an emotional Instagram post five months ago. Pictured holding hands with Raisa in the hospital, Gomez discussed her health problems with Lupus, and Selena said "there aren't words" to describe how she could thank "my beautiful friend Francia Raisa." That said, here are some more words Gomez used to thank her pal, along with the team of doctors, family, friends and loved ones who saved her life. Gomez also had an interview about the process with Today back in October, with Raisa also there to share her feelings.
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.
Tune in tomorrow, February 19th, to watch Raisa's interview during Harry. It's worth noting, however, that this forthcoming interview will ultimately serve as one of the last on the talk show program. It was announced two days earlier, via Variety, that Harry will come to an end after two seasons, with new episodes taping through September. Meanwhile, Raisa can also be seen on Freeform's Grown-ish, which was already renewed last month.