Francia Raisa On The Reality Of Recovering From Donating Kidney To Selena Gomez

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Francia Raisa did a heroic thing last year when she donated a kidney to her friend Selena Gomez, and now the Grown-ish actress is revealing a little bit about her sacrifice.
"I couldn’t get up without having someone help me," Raisa told Harry Connick Jr. on his talk show Harry, according to Just Jared. "That was very humbling. I couldn’t take a shower by myself, I had to have someone help me because I couldn’t move."

While Raisa was laid up following her laparoscopic surgery, she said Gomez was up and about much sooner.

"It’s harder as the donor because we are losing something our body didn’t need to lose...and she’s gaining something her body needed," Raisa explained. (Gomez later had to have a second surgery, however, when her new kidney "flipped.")

Advocates for live organ donation emphasize that people can usually function perfectly well with just one kidney, but they don't take the process lightly. Screening for donors is a lengthy, thorough process just to make sure they will be able to recover from the surgery. The recovery period for kidney donors varies, but Kelli Collins, the vice president of patient engagement at the National Kidney Foundation, said people are typically out of work for about six weeks.

For Raisa, the hardest part about donating her kidney was not being as physical as she wanted to be. "I’m a very, very active person, so the fact that my doctor said I couldn’t move for two months... All I could do was walk. That was very hard for me. I have a do,g and every day the thing I look forward to is drinking my coffee and walking, and I couldn’t do that. It was really, really hard."

What Raisa lost in exercise time, she apparently gained in something even better. Before the surgery, she and Gomez were just friends, she said, and now they consider each other to be family.

"It was cool because now I have a big family," Raisa told Connick. "I lost my grandparents when I was younger. Her grandparents are my grandparents now, and so I have this extension of a family, and it’s been really amazing."


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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.


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