(Source: Getty Images) more pics » Sarah Hyland (Bauer Griffin) Sarah Hyland she plays Modern Family's bubbly, ditzy teenage daughter onscreen, but off-screen, she's been quietly dealing with some serious health issues. In a new interview with Seventeen magazine, the 21-year-old actress opened up about her lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia, a condition in which the kidneys don't develop properly.
Thankfully, Hyland's troubling health saga has a happy ending. Last month, Hyland received a kidney transplant from her father and is doing wonderfully. As she told Seventeen in her first interview since the procedure, "I have a second chance at life, not a lot of people get that."
While Hyland is obviously grateful to her family for their support leading up to and following her operation, she explained that she also learned just how amazing her other support systems are. "You know that family is always going to be there for you – no matter what. My dad gave me a freakin' kidney!" Hyland said. "But it's also the families that you create outside of your family. And you really find out what kind of people you're friends with. It was just amazing, and it really opened my eyes to see who's there for me and who's not."
Hyland's boyfriend, actor Matt Prokop, (who actually appeared on last week's Modern Family) is by her side as well. "He helps me with my medication and takes me to doctor appointments and all the stuff that I need to do to take care of myself," Hyland said. "Any other 21-year-old guy would not be there, I guarantee it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me."
With Modern Family done filming for the season, Hyland is using her time off to repay all the goodwill that came her way during a scary and difficult time. She'll spend her summer lending her services to George Lopez's Lopez Foundation, an organization that offers aid to underprivileged children, adults, and military families dealing with difficult health issues. "I think it's really great because it gives kids opportunities they wouldn't normally have, and I've had experiences like that in my life, so it's really close to my heart," she said.
See more Sarah Hyland pics: