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How This Rare Condition Almost Ended Modern Family Star Sarah Hyland’s Career

Sarah Hyland is an American actress who has had roles in productions such as Vampire Academy, Dirty Dancing, See You in Valhalla and Struck by Lightning. But the young acting powerhouse is best known for her role of Haley Dunphy in the popular sitcom Modern Family that airs on ABC, which has earned her and fellow cast members a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series on four occasions.

What one may or may not know about Hyland is that she suffers from kidney dysplasia, a condition in which the internal structure of one or both of a fetus’ kidneys do not develop normally.

Sarah Hyland playing the role of Haley in Modern Family

Contemplating Suicide

Hyland has had it rough, to the point where she even considered taking her own life. Multiple surgeries trying to remedy her situation left her feeling like a failure and thinking that suicide was the only way out.

Opening up to Self magazine late last year, Hyland (now 28), said that her body rejected a kidney donated to her by her dad when she was 21, necessitating a second transplant in 2017. She confessed to having lived her whole life feeling like a burden, even though she knew she was not at fault.

The kidney rejection was a painful blow, as Hyland felt as if she has let down her dad. He had given her a second chance at life, and she had failed him. Granted, she was fully aware that she had no control over the rejection, but she couldn’t get over blaming herself.

Her brother donated the second kidney, and even then, Hyland felt as if she had a huge burden weighing her down. As she puts it, she contemplated suicide for a long time since she did not want to fail her kid brother the same way she did her dad.

After the magazine published her story, Hyland took to Instagram to push it. In a somewhat emotional post, she hoped that those undergoing a similar situation would find comfort in her story, while those in good health would appreciate being healthy much more.

What exactly is kidney dysplasia?

Kidneys work as excretory organs in the body, filtering out toxic fluid and wastes from the blood and getting rid of it via urine. As do many other body organs, kidneys start developing when the fetus is still developing in the womb. In healthy development, ureters grow into the kidney and branch out to form a network of tubules. The tubules, in turn, collect urine from the developing fetus.

In kidney dysplasia, the tubules fail to branch out, blocking the exit of urine completely. Consequently, it accumulates inside the kidney, forming cysts. These cysts replace normal kidney tissue, preventing the organ from functioning.

Hyland said that her body rejected a kidney donated to her by her dad when she was 21

The condition can affect one or both kidneys, with fetuses having kidney dysplasia on both, hence not surviving birth. Where the disease affects only one organ, the unaffected kidney bears all the burden of normal kidney function. If the condition is mild in both kidneys, the kid may need a transplant later in life, or they may need blood-filtering treatment known as dialysis.

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