Selena Gomez faced the biggest health crisis of her life when she went through a kidney transplant, and for a time, she feared she would die during the operation, according to her best friend Francia Raisa.
Gomez, 25, has long suffered from a serious case of lupus, an autoimmune disease that can attack internal organs like the kidneys.
Raisa donated a life-saving kidney to the singer. Selena turned to her to express her fears. She was worried the operation might not go as planned.
Her fears were well founded, Francia told Self magazine:
“I remember getting a text message from Selena saying, ‘I’m so scared I might die,’ and I was like, ‘What?’ … That’s when she got the complication where the kidney turned and broke an artery and she had to go back in and they actually had to take a vein out of her leg … and build a wall around her artery.”
Selena was facing a life-or-death situation before the transplant last year. She explains:
“I am really honored to be here with all of you guys tonight, my lupus community. As many of you know, or might now know, I was diagnosed with lupus about five or six years ago. I’ve been speaking out about my situation to raise awareness about the disease. After undergoing so many tests to monitor my kidneys my doctors told me I have lupus nephritis, one of those complications from lupus. They said I would be needing a kidney transplant. Maybe I wasn’t necessarily really good at knowing what that meant so it actually got to a point where it was life-or-death. Thankfully, one of my best friends gave me her kidney and it was the ultimate gift of life. And I am doing quite well now.”
Despite the operation’s success, Selena suffered from post-operative depression. Francia had post-op mental health issues as well.
“[I was told], ‘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.’ And it was very hard. Selena and I both went through a depression.”
Francia is proud to show off her scars from the operation. “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 said.
“It was rough for a couple of months. I am used to not being active. I am very active … This last year has been the craziest of my life … I don’t think I would have been able to handle it as well if I hadn’t have gone through the storms in my life … storms suck but it’s helped me appreciate my next journey and my next chapter in life.”
Selena is also taking some “time to herself.”
Her re-kindled romance with on/off boyfriend Justin Bieber is back on hold following pressure from her mother Mandy Teefey. She thought Justin was bad for Selena.
For once, she appears to be taking mom’s advice. “She wants to repair her relationship with her mother, that’s a priority for her, too,” a source told “Entertainment Tonight.”
Lupus nephritis causes inflammation, swelling and scarring of the small blood vessels that filter wastes in a kidney by attacking them like they would attack a disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Selena must have been really sick. Kidney transplants are only recommended for Lupus patients when their kidneys are failing.
For more information check out the Lupis Foundation.