Last year, Francia Raisa made a decision not everyone would make: to give her kidney to her best friend, popstar Selena Gomez." But what the actress didn't know when she made that life-changing decision was how tough the recovery road would be for both...
In a new and candid video for Self's Body Stories, the Grown-ish star said, "It's not a secret. Last year, I had a surgery with one of my best friends, Selena Gomez. I gave my kidney to her."
And while the decision has garnered the star a lot of positive press, good vibes and pretty much brownie points for life, the 29-year-old actress said the recovery process post-surgery was "hard"—a lot harder than she thought it would be when she agreed to get tested to see if she was a match.
In the video, Francia also explains that she mostly felt "at peace" with the big decision to go under the knife to help her pal in need, the star says that she did panic at one very specific moment and that was when the "Come and Get It" singer FaceTimed her to let her know she was in fact a match (a fact that the actress hadn't been aware of until that moment).
"When I found out I was a match, it wasn't the way I expected," confessed the actress. "I had a way I wanted to tell her when I made the decision. I knew I was going to have it. I just needed to have that time. It's a big thing."
But sometimes life happens when you are planning for it...
After receiving that phone call, Francia said that she called her social worker who had some tough words for the former Secret Life of the American Teenager star.
In the video, Francia explains she was told at the time, "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."
Francia then says to the camera, "And it was very hard."
The star confessed, "Selena and I both went through a depression."
In the interview, Francia then discusses the intense process of what her body had to go through after the transplant and the "C-section scar" (as she calls it) that remains.
In the chat, Francia reveals the surgery scar to the camera and says, "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."
As for what she had to endure after the surgery, she admits she needed help taking a shower and even wiping herself. She also says she couldn't exercise or walk her 16 pound dog.
"It was rough for a couple of months. I am used to not being active. I am very active," said the Beyond Paradise actress.
"This last year has been the craziest of my life," she confessed, explaining she moved, donated a kidney, booked Grown-ish and started dating new boyfriend Chris Adkins, whom she debuted on Instagram back in December, within a year.
But she says her experience helping Selena made it all possible.
"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."