In early September, singer Selena Gomez revealed in an Instagram post that she had undergone a kidney transplant over the summer, putting rumors about her sudden public disappearance to rest.
The former Disney star wrote that the surgery was needed to improve her overall health as she battled lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects around 1.5 million Americans.
"So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health," the singer wrote.
She also revealed that her best friend, actress Francia Raisa, was the one who donated the kidney.
"...There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful best friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis," Gomez continued.
Gomez shared some photos of her post-surgery scars, but reassured her fans that she was recovering well and will be sharing more updates in the near future.
"I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you," she added to the note. "Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery.”
Now, nearly two months since coming clean to her fans about her surgery, Gomez stayed true to her word and offered up more details of her scary experience in her first interview since going under the knife.
In the new NBC interview, a tearful Gomez talked about the time when doctors told her that her kidneys were starting to fail and the complications that forced her to undergo a second surgery.
Gomez explained that was unable to find a match at first, and even if she made it on the donor list, it could take anywhere from seven to ten years before she would find a donor.
Since Gomez kept her condition a secret from everyone but her family, many of the people close to her didn't know that she was in dire need of a kidney.
"I knew that she hadn't been feeling well,” said Raisa, who joined Gomez for the interview. "She couldn't open a water bottle one day. She chucked it and started crying. And I said, ‘What's wrong?’ And that's when she told me."
As soon as Raisa learned of her then-roommate's situation, she volunteered to get tested in order to determine if she was a match.
"She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real," said Gomez.
The pop star confessed that "it was really life or death," when she told Raisa about the severity of her illness.
However, that was half the battle.
The surgical process wasn't an easy one for Gomez. While Raisa's went without a hitch, the singer had to go through a second emergency operation to fix an artery that flipped during the transplant.
Both Gomez and Raisa were on bed rest and needed help perfoming even the most basic tasks like putting on clothes.
Thankfully, the surgery helped Gomez's lupus go into remission and there is only a small chance that it will return.
"It’s really hard to think about, or even to swallow, especially now that as soon as I got the kidney transplant, my arthritis went away, my lupus, there’s about a 3 to 5 percent chance it will ever come back, my blood pressure is better,” Gomez said. “My energy, my life has been better."
The singer will perform for the first time since her surgeries at the American Music Awards on November 19. She confirmed the news on Twitter, saying she "can't wait."
We're glad she is bouncing back well!