Modern Family star Sarah Hyland has revealed she had to have a second kidney transplant, and that she thought about suicide after the failure of the first.

The actress, 28, said she underwent dialysis two years ago, when her body started to reject a kidney donated by her father when she was 21. She then found out that her brother was a match.

Speaking about her health problems in an interview with US magazine Self, Hyland said she has had surgery 16 times – with six operations in the past 16 months or so, including surgery for endometriosis and to correct an abdominal hernia, as well as the second transplant.

The star, who was born with kidney dysplasia – which means the organs did not develop properly before she was born – said she felt huge pressure before the second transplant as "I didn't want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad".

"I was very depressed," she said. "When a family member gives you a second chance at life, and it fails, it almost feels like it's your fault. It's not. But it does.

"For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn't want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad.

"I had gone through [my whole life] of always being a burden, of always having to be looked after, having to be cared for."

Image: Hyland (right) with some of the Modern Family cast

Hyland said that talking about her suicidal thoughts helped her, and she encouraged others to do the same.

"For anybody that wants to reach out to somebody but doesn't really know how because they're too proud or they think that they'll be looked upon as weak, it's not a shameful thing to say," she said. "It's not a shameful thing to share."

Hyland posted the cover of the magazine on Instagram, saying she hoped it might help people going through similar experiences "feel like they're not alone".

She is not the first high profile star to speak out about having a kidney transplant.

In September 2017, singer Selena Gomez, who suffers from lupus, revealed her best friend Francia Raisa had donated her a kidney.

Sharing a picture from their hospital beds, Gomez said: "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed.

More from Ents & Arts

"I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made."

Earlier this year, Tina Turner revealed her husband had donated her a kidney when hers started to fail.

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