Sarah Hyland is expressing her gratitude for her baby brother on the anniversary of her kidney transplant.
On Thursday, the Modern Family actress — who was born with kidney dysplasia, a condition in which the kidneys don’t fully develop in the womb — celebrated two years since her brother Ian Hyland donated his kidney to save her life.
“2 years ago today my precious little brother gave me the gift of life,” Sarah, 28, wrote beside an Instagram photo of herself in a gorgeous navy gown next to her brother.
“Thank you for not only giving me your f—— kidney but for everything else you do,” she continued. “I love you so much @thehotterhyland happy Kidneyversary!!!!”
Ian, 24, returned the sweet gesture by posting the same photo on his Instagram account and praising his sister in the caption.
“Happy Kidneyversary to an incredible older sister and all-around badass,” he wrote. “I am so happy that you are living your dreams and have such an incredible year and life ahead of you. You make me so proud to be your brother. I love you, sis!”
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Ian’s kidney transplant in 2017 was the second time Sarah had to undergo surgery. The star underwent her first kidney transplant surgery in 2012, which was donated by her father Edward, but she discovered four years later that the organ was failing.
In order to prepare for her next surgery, Sarah went on dialysis — a temporary treatment where a machine filters blood in and out, which is typically the kidney’s job — for almost a year. During that time, her Modern Family costars were known to wear surgical masks to protect her fragile immune system.
Immunosuppressants led Sarah’s face to swell, and bed rest meant significant weight loss, which prompted painful speculation and public criticism about her appearance. Those rumors combined with feeling like she let her father down after his kidney failed was enough to make Sarah contemplate suicide she later revealed.
However, she was able to get throu