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Selena Gomez shared the details of her harrowing kidney transplant in an emotional interview Monday morning. And her pal Francia Raisa, who donated her kidney to save Gomez's life, was right there by her side.
The singer was diagnosed with lupus five years ago and revealed in September that she underwent surgery over the summer after the autoimmune disease started attacking the organ.
Gomez, 25, was suffering from arthritis and she was weeks away from dialysis when her friend stepped up to donate her kidney, Gomez said Monday in the first part of her "Today" show interview.
"I got to the point where it was really kind of life or death. It's really hard to think about or swallow," the Disney Channel alum said, explaining that since the transplant her arthritis went away and her blood pressure, energy and life have improved. Her lupus has only a 3% to 5% chance of coming back, she said.
"[Raisa] lived with me at an interesting time when my kidneys were just done. That was it," Gomez said.
The donor list had been seven to 10 years long, and Raisa, seeing how much pain Gomez was in, volunteered to get tested after no one in Gomez's family was a match. When they learned Raisa was a match, "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" actress went through a grueling panel of testing in a day -- a process that should have taken six months, she said.
"The fact that she was a match, I mean that's unbelievable. That's not real," Gomez added.
The duo, sitting side-by-side for the emotional interview with Savannah Guthrie, rehashed the operation itself and what they had to do to prepare for it. Raisa, 29, had to write a will, "which was scary because there's no guarantee you'll wake up," she said.
Raisa's procedure went smoothly, then it was Gomez's turn. When Gomez woke up two hours later, she soon began hyperventilating and experiencing pain. The new kidney was turning around inside her body because one of the arteries had flipped. She had to undergo an additional six-hour procedure to correct in.
The tearful Gomez said her friend saved her life and they shared their story to raise awareness.
"I just really hope that we can help somebody. I don't think what we went through is easy. I don't think it was fun. I just hope that this inspires people to feel good to know that there [are] really good people in the world," the singer said.