Sarah Hyland, the 21-year-old actress who plays eldest daughter Haley Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family, is recovering from a kidney transplant that she underwent in April. She received the organ donation from her father, actor Edward James Hyland. Hyland revealed in an intimate interview in the current issue of Seventeen that she’s struggled with kidney disease since she was diagnosed with abnormal kidney development at the age of nine, and she shared her story on ABC’s Good Morning America this week.
A secret to viewers, Haley’s teenage laziness and constant lackadaisical texting throughout scenes of Modern Family were often excuses for Hyland to relax when she became exhausted at work. Her condition required her to sleep in excess of 12 hours a night just to feel rested– no easy task for a co-star in one of the highest ratings sitcoms on television.
Without the transplant, the actress may have spent her life on dialysis.
A far cry from the naive, ignorant, uncaring teenager that she portrays on the show, Hyland is a youth ambassador for The Lopez Foundation, where she helps promote awareness for organ and kidney donation. She shared this advice with ABC for others struggling with kidney disease: “Know that you’re not alone. Even though it may seem like it a lot of the time. And that if you ask, ‘Why me?’ Well, why not you? You know? It makes you the person you are today.”
She’ll spend the show’s summer hiatus recovering from the surgery, with her on-screen family pitching in. Actress Julie Bowen, who plays Haley’s mom Claire, has been helping Hyland out with cleaning. And her boyfriend Matt Prokop, who plays Ethan, Haley’s newest on-screen beau, has been helping take care of her, as well.
You can check out some of the interview below.