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Stills of Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa (Images Via selenagomez/Instagram and franciaraisa/Instagram)

"She couldn't open a water bottle": When Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez opened up about kidney transplant surgery

Selena Gomez, the 30-year-old singer and actress, has always been open about her struggles with both physical and mental health. She has shed light upon several difficult phases of her life and shared her journey through those times with her fans over the years. Gomez was diagnosed with lupus, a severe autoimmune disease, sometime in 2014, as per E!.

TODAY reported that the disease attacked her kidneys and they were shutting down. Due to her serious condition, she desperately needed a kidney transplant.


Reportedly, in September 2017, Selena Gomez disclosed via an Instagram post that she received a kidney transplant from her close friend and actress Francia Raisa. The 34-year-old How I Met Your Father actress is a long-time friend of Selena, and was sharing a home with her at the time she received her lupus diagnosis.

In October 2017, Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez sat down for an emotionally driven interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. During the interview, both Raisa and Gomez opened up about their experience of the "brutal" kidney transplant surgery.


While talking about Selena's health condition before the surgery and how she decided to get tested for the kidney transplant, Francia Raisa said:

"One day, she came home and she was emotional. I hadn't asked anything. She hadn't been feeling well. She couldn't open a water bottle. And she chucked it. She started crying. And she said I don't know what to do. The list is seven to ten years long. And it just vomited out of me. 'I'll get tested. I want to do this.'"

Selena Gomez said that Francia Raisa being a match for her kidney transplant was "unbelievable"

During the emotional October 2017 interview with Savannah Guthrie for TODAY, Selena Gomez spoke about her kidney transplant journey with dear friend Francia Raisa, who willingly decided to get tested for the transplant. She said:

"She (Francia Raisa) lived with me in an interesting time when my kidneys were just done. The thought of asking somebody to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. Let alone somebody wanting to volunteer, it's incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that's unbelievable. That's not real."

Thereafter, Francia Raisa spoke about the processes she went through right after they discovered she was a match and could thus be Selena's kidney donor:

"With our situation, because we were in kind of an emergency situation, I did everything in a day. And usually the process takes 6 months, so, it was really fast."

When reporter Savannah Guthrie asked Gomez and Raisa about how they felt on the day of the surgery, Selena Gomez said:

"I wanted us to feel good. Our friend came over and did little french braids for us."

The two further revealed that on the day of the surgery, they couldn't eat after midnight. So, they ordered too much food and ate a lot. Francia Raisa then went on to share her surgery experience. She said:

"I had to go in first. When I woke up, I was really calm. I had to write a will, which is scary. My mom didn't want to be there until I woke up. She loves Selena. She was torn."

Gomez then shared her experience of the surgery in the interview. She said:

"I remember waking up two hours after. And I saw my mom. I saw my step dad. And I felt okay. I felt really good. I got to see you (Francia Raisa) and tell you I love you."

However, according to Selena, after her first surgery, things started to go wrong and her health deteriorated as her new kidney began turning inside her body. Thus, the singer had to go receive another surgery that was almost six hours long. Fortunately, that surgery went well and ensured that she was out of danger.

Selena and Francia share a strong friendship and bond till today and in a recent Apple TV+ docuseries, titled, Dear…, Selena Gomez gushed over Francia Raisa, calling Raisa her "best friend" and saying that she was forever in debt to her for what she did.


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Edited by
Upasya Bhowal
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