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Sarah Hyland opens up about filming ‘Modern Family’ while awaiting kidney transplant

“I was so exhausted all the time,” she said while recalling how she would sleep between takes of the hit show.
/ Source: TODAY

“Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she was so tired before her first kidney transplant that she can’t remember shooting episodes of the Emmy-winning comedy.

“There are some episodes of 'Modern Family' where I do not remember filming because I was asleep. Dead-asleep,” Hyland said on the "Quitters Podcast," hosted by her "Modern Family" co-star Julie Bowen and Chad Sanders. 

Hyland, 31, singled out the 2011 season three episode in which her character, Haley, asks Luke for money.

“That entire episode I was asleep for,” she said. “I don’t remember filming it at all.”

ABC's "Modern Family" - Season One
Hy;and (right), seen here in the first season of "Modern Family."Danny Feld / Disney

Hyland, who was born with a condition known as kidney dysplasia, explained her condition was deteriorating to the point she was eligible to get a new kidney.

“It was right before my first transplant. ‘Cause here’s the thing how transplants work. You have to a certain level of sick in order to receive a transplant,” she said. “So I was reaching that certain level of sick. I was not able to be awake for, like, eight hours at a time. I was so exhausted all the time.”

Hyland has undergone a pair of kidney transplants. She received one from her father when she was 21 and then one from her younger brother when she was 26. She endured excessive fatigue while shooting the show.

“So I’d be on the set, we’d be filming and I would be dead asleep, my head on the table,” she said. “I would hear, ‘And ...’ and my head would go up on ‘and’ and then they yelled ‘action’ and we just went into it and as soon as they yelled ‘cut,’ I’d put my head back down.”

Hyland, whose mother learned she had breast cancer during her own medical troubles, wound up on dialysis between her transplants. Eventually, the pain and experience of having kidney failure led her to think about suicide.

“That’s where I felt suicidal. I would avoid going into rejection and being on dialysis at all costs.”

Hyland, who says she is in good health now, has talked about the mental aspect of her kidney transplants.

“After 26, 27 years of just always being sick and being in chronic pain every single day, and you don’t know when you’re going to have the next good day,” Hyland said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2018.

“It’s really, really hard. I would write letters in my head to loved ones of why I did it, my reasoning behind it, how it was nobody’s fault because I didn’t want to write it down on paper because I didn’t want anybody to find it because that’s how serious I was.”

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741 anytime.