It’s been over a month since Selena Gomez revealed to fans in an Instagram post that she’d received a kidney from her best friend, actress Francia Raisa, after her kidneys began to fail due to her struggle with lupus, an autoimmune disease. In the post, the “Fetish” singer said she’d be sharing more about her story in the months to come — and now she’s doing just that.
On Monday morning’s Today Show, Gomez and Raisa sat down with Savannah Guthrie to talk about their experience, starting with the moment Francia decided to volunteer to give Selena a kidney.
“She couldn’t open a water bottle one day,” Raisa told Guthre. “She chucked it and she started crying. I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and that’s when she told me. She goes, ‘I don’t know what to do. The [kidney donor] list is seven to 10 years long.'”
Even though Gomez at first, “didn’t want to ask a single person” she knew for something so major, she eventually agreed to the idea — and after extensive blood and urine tests, it turned out that Raisa was a perfect match for her. (Which, by the way, is incredibly rare.)
While both of the surgeries ended up being successful, they weren’t without some scary roadblocks along the way. Francia says she was required to write a will before undergoing the surgery, and following the transplant, Selena’s new kidney “flipped,” requiring a second emergency surgery that lasted six hours. “There was so much pain there,” Gomez told Guthrie.
Luckily, the friends had each other to lean on throughout the six week healing process — which, spoiler alert, wasn’t easy either.
“It was hard because you constantly needed to ask for help,” Raisa said about the weeks following their surgeries. “I think one of the most humbling experiences was needing help to, like, put on underwear. We couldn’t take showers by ourselves. I mean, it was a really brutal process.”
Watch their full interview below: