May 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM ET
“Modern Family” beauty Sarah Hyland is usually known for bringing the laughs. But now, the 21-year-old actress is making a very serious revelation -- she underwent a kidney transplant in April.
In a new interview with Seventeen magazine, Hyland revealed she has been battling kidney dysplasia for many years, and it was her father who donated the kidney to save her life.
“You know that family is going to be there for you no matter what. My dad gave me a freakin’ kidney!” the actress told Seventeen. “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.”
Following the operation, the star -- who plays the bubbly Hayley Dunphy on the hit ABC sitcom -- is well on the road to recovery, and she admitted the whole ordeal has given her a sense of who her loved ones really are.
“It was just amazing, and it really opened my eyes to see who’s there for me and who’s not,” she continued. “There are people who came out of the woodwork, not because it was, ‘Oh hey, congratulations on your show winning an Emmy.’ No, it was, ‘Hey, I’m here for you.’”
One person especially close to Hyland who helped her through it all was her boyfriend -- actor Matt 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. Any other 21-year-old guy would not be there, I guarantee it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me,” she gushed over Prokop.
While Hyland is approaching life with positivity and a refreshed outlook, she understands that things could have gone very differently had the operation not been a success.
“I have a second chance at life -- not a lot of people get that,” she said.