If you’re a fan of the hit sitcom Modern Family (who isn’t?), then you’re most likely familiar with the fun-loving and charismatic character, Haley Dunphy, played by actress Sarah Hyland. However, it’s easy to forget that the actors on the show face real, painful struggles behind the scenes, and Hyland is no exception.
Last Thursday, for National Selfie Day, the 27-year-old actress posted a selfie of her swollen face in an attempt to be real with her followers and share her “truth.”
“Sometimes a selfie is more than just a good angle and feelin cute. This time for #nationalselfieday I’ve decided to share my truth. As painful as it is,” Hyland wrote on her Instagram story. “So here is my face that was torn from work against my will. But I’m very grateful it was. Health should always come first. #stayhealthymyfriends.”
So what is Hyland’s truth? The Modern Family star was born with a disease called kidney dysplasia, which means her kidneys didn’t develop properly while in the womb, causing cysts to grow on them.
In 2012, Hyland received a kidney transplant from her father when she was only 21 years old. The actress later opened up to Seventeen about how grateful she was for the gift:
“You know that family is always going to be there for you — no matter what. My dad gave me a freakin kidney!” she said. “I have a second chance at life — not a lot of people get that.”
Hyland’s condition has caused her weight to fluctuate in the past, but the actress is unapologetic about the way she looks, as she should be. Back in May 2017, she shared some inspiring words via Twitter, showing us all that no matter what you’re going through, you can prevail despite health issues:
“I’m a 26 year old woman who goes through more than you could ever imagine on a daily basis. But I work hard. I love hard. And I got to where I am because I am STRONG and didn’t give up. I am grateful for the life I live and you should be too,” she wrote in a series of notes on her phone.
After sharing her inspiring selfie last week, Hyland told fans that she was back at home from the hospital and “feelin great.” She also revealed that IV antibiotics had saved her life, and that she had remedied her swollen face with a facial from celebrity skin expert, Nurse Jamie.
Despite her health struggles, it seems that nothing can keep this talented young star down for long. Keep inspiring the world to stay strong in the face of obstacles, Sarah!