Since opening up about their kidney transplant procedures last year, Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa have not held back about the scary experience of surgery and Gomez’s emergency second operation. But in a new interview, Raisa is revealing details about their recovery that makes their return to the spotlight even more impressive.
Ahead of the surgery, the Grown-ish star was told by a social worker that her post-op experience would be more difficult than her friend’s. “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 receiving something she needs. You’re losing something you don’t need to lose. It’s going to be hard, and it was very hard,” Raisa said in a video for Self.
“Selena and I both went through a depression. She had some complications with hers and she has bigger scars than, you know, I do. That wasn’t expected. I remember getting a text message from Selena saying, ‘I’m so scared. I might die,’” she recalled. “That’s when she got the complication where the kidney turned and she broke an artery and she had to go back in and they actually had to take a vein out of her leg—so she has a scar right here [pointing to inner thigh]—and build a wall around her artery.”
Because of Raisa’s emergency second surgery, the recovery was difficult for both of them, and they suffered from depression partly because of inactivity. “It was rough for a couple of months, because I’m not used to not being active. I’m very active, and we literally had to just wake up and not look forward to doing anything, and that was hard. Having people help me take a shower was very humbling,” Raisa said.
The actress also revealed her three post-op scars, including her “C-section scar,” as she calls it—because it’s similar in location and size as one that a mother might have after a caesarean delivery. She also has a tattoo in the same area, but that’s one marking she’s ready to have removed.
“I was 19 years old. I was in a relationship and I don’t care how in love you think you are, I don’t think you should do anything that represents the relationship. And I’m going to get it lasered off.”
Her scars, though, Raisa has grown accustomed to. “Your scars don’t define you. It’s a part of your story. And it’s a part of the story that makes you special and you different. Girl, show it!”