Selena Gomez shocked her fans by bravely opening up about her recent medical procedure–a drastic kidney transplant. The 25-year-old pop star took to Instagram to reveal that this summer, she went to the hospital for the life-altering surgery due to her battle with Lupus.
Selena posted a slideshow of pictures showing her lying on a hospital bed, next to her friend and organ donor. She stated that the kidney transplant was needed to be done for her “overall health.”
“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” Selena began.
So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.
The “Kill Em With Kindness” singer also shared photos of her scars in the stomach area following the operation. Selena promised her fans that she’ll be sharing more of her experience in the coming days.
Selena Gomez first opened up about Lupus in 2015, after announcing that she was taking a career break to focus on her health. She revealed that she was actually diagnosed with the condition in 2013 and has even undergone chemotherapy. At the time, the young star was also struggling with anxiety and depression which stemmed from the disease. Selena also went to a rehab facility to deal with her emotional health.
“I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks, and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” Selena told CNN back then.
According to Medical News Today, Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that makes one’s immune system hyperactive, attacking normal tissue. Symptoms include swelling and damage to several organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs. Around five million people in the world have this condition, 90 percent of which are women. It is more common in people aged 15 to 45 years old.
One type of Lupus that targets the kidneys is called Lupus Nephritis. According to The National Kidney Foundation, Lupus Nephritis causes one’s blood vessels in the kidneys to swell. Alarming signs include blood or protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and weight gain due to extra fluid in the kidneys.
Selena Gomez hopes that by sharing her story, people will become more aware of this disease. She stated in her post that until now, Lupus is “very misunderstood” and encouraged her fans to learn more about the disease. She concluded by thanking her friend, Francia Raisa, for courageously giving her one of her kidneys.
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend…She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed.”
Meanwhile, Selena’s brave and honest post has been met with an outpouring of support from her fans all over the world. Her followers left comments wishing her a speedy recovery and thanking her for being so real and strong.
“I wish that nobody had to go through this, but I have lupus and you’re doing amazing things educating people about its effects,” one fan wrote. “Thank you, and very best wishes for your recovery.”
[Featured Image by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Coach]