May 14th, 2012
02:05 PM ET
You wouldn't know it from her sunny (and often hilarious) disposition on red carpets, but "Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland has been fighting kidney disease since she was a kid.
The 21-year-old actress revealed on "Good Morning America" Monday that she was diagnosed with abnormal kidney development at 9 years old, a health issue that left her fatigued.
"I would be in a lot of pain a lot of the time. If I didn't get, like, 12 hours of sleep, it felt like none at all," Hyland revealed. But being in the industry she's in, she had to push forward, accommodating by often sitting down during a scene to give her body a break.
"You know, if you're sick, you still go to work," she said. "And in between takes, you sit down, or you lay your head down or something."
As the pain grew worse, Hyland sought an organ donor, and she found one close to home - it turns out her dad was a perfect match. The actress had transplant surgery in April and plans on recovering when "Modern Family" is on break this summer.
As she relayed to Seventeen magazine of the experience, it's shown her the strength of her support system, which also includes her co-star and boyfriend, Matt Prokop.
"He helps me with my medication and takes me to doctor's appointments," she told the magazine in its new issue. "Any other 21-year-old guy would not be there, I guarantee it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me."
And, it goes without saying, lucky to have her dad, too.
"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."
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.