The 25-year-old singer revealed that the reason she quietly stepped back from her career over the summer was because she was recovering from a kidney transplant,
“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” Gomez captioned the Instagram post. “So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”
The “Hands to Myself” singer also shared that the donor was her longtime pal Francia Raisa, an actress best known for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Gomez shared a photo of the friends holding hands from their hospital beds as well as photos of her stomach following the surgery.
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” said Gomez. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
In an October 2015 interview with Billboard, Gomez revealed that she was diagnosed with lupus and was undergoing chemotherapy for the autoimmune disease.
In August 2016, Gomez took a career break after suffering from “anxiety, panic attacks and depression” due to her lupus diagnosis.
“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” she said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
“I waited for the right time to talk about it because I am in a great place, and I’m very healthy,” she said. “I’m not trying to be loud about it: It was time to use my platform to help.”