Months after Selena Gomez discussed how her kidney transplant changed the way she saw herself, her donor, Francia Raisa, has also opened up about how the transplant took a toll on her own mental health.
In a new interview with Self, Raisa says that before the surgery, she had a conversation with a social worker who warned her that her recovery may be more difficult than Gomez's.
“'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,'" she recalls the social worker telling her.
"And it was hard," she said, adding, "Selena and I both went through a depression.”
Kidney transplants are major surgeries for both the donor and the recipient, and the donor, a healthy person who has to undergo surgery to remove a healthy kidney, is at a disadvantage.
However, Raisa said, the resulting scar she has "doesn't define" her.
"It’s a part of your story," she said. "It’s a part of the story that makes you special and you different."
Read on for our original story below.
Selena Gomez has had a big year. After taking time off last year to focus on her health, the singer has gradually returned to the spotlight, and has since opened up about therapy, revealed that she had a kidney transplant, and released new songs. It's no wonder she's been named Billboard's Woman of the Year for 2017.
In a new interview with Billboard, Gomez opened up about how much her life has changed — including the way her kidney transplant changed the way she sees her body.
While it took some time, she said that she now feels much more comfortable with her surgery scar, and her body as a whole.
"It was really hard in the beginning," she admitted. "I remember looking at myself in the mirror completely naked and thinking about all the things that I used to bitch about and just asking, 'Why?' I had someone in my life for a very long time who pointed out all the things that I didn't feel great about with myself. When I look at my body now, I just see life. There are a million things I can do — lasers and creams and all that stuff — but I’m OK with it."
That's not to say she looks down on lasers or plastic surgery — it just may not be for her.
"There is absolutely zero judgment on my end," she said. "I just think for me, it could be my eyes, my round face, my ears, my legs, my scar. I don’t have perfect abs, but I feel like I’m wonderfully made."
The surgery, she said, made her think about "how much my body is my own."
"Ever since I was 7, my life always felt like I was giving it to someone else," she continued. "I felt really alone even though I had a lot of great people around me. But the decisions I was making, were they ever for me? [After the surgery] I had this sense of gratitude for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever just stopped and been like, 'I’m actually grateful for who I am.'"
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