Two years ago, Selena Gomez had to undergo a kidney transplant surgery after her health severely deteriorated due to her arthritis and on-going battle with lupus. Luckily, her friend and fellow actress Francia Raisa stepped in to help to donate her own kidney. It was an experience she called “life-changing,” and two years later, she’s remembering just how special it was that she got to help her friend.
Francia Raisa reflects on donating her kidney to Selena Gomez
"It was a decision that was very faith-based and... she and I have talked about before," Raisa told ET during WWE Smackdown's 20th anniversary celebration. "It just kinda happened coincidently, but I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that that's God's way of remaining anonymous. I'm very grateful for the opportunity.”
Shortly after the surgery, both Selena and Francia opened up about the experience. For Francia, it was especially hard because her body had to get used to only having one kidney, something that she learned after speaking to her social worker. "She told me, 'It's going to be hard. The recipient is going to glow, and she's going to recover a lot faster than the donor is because she's getting something she needs. You're losing something you don't need to lose. It's going to be hard.' And it was very hard.”
As for Selena, she couldn’t have been more grateful for her friend. ”My kidneys were just done,” she previously shared. "That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life… and [Raisa] volunteered and did it.” She continued: “She did [save my life]. "As soon as I got the kidney, my arthritis went away. My lupus is at a three-to-five percent chance it'll ever come back. My blood pressure is better. My energy and my life has been better.”
"It was a decision that was very faith-based and... she and I have talked about before"
During her appearance on the red carpet, the Grown-ish actress also teased fans that Selena has new music on the horizon. According to her, she was "shaking my a** a lot.” Earlier this year, Selena announced that she was “relieved” to have completed her new album. "It took me four years now to even feel at a good place with this album,” she told Jimmy Fallon. “And it’s because I had such huge moments that happened in my life personally — that how was I going to capture that and how was I going to actually feel good about what I was saying. I just kept going, and I am relieved.”