Selena Gomez had a life-saving surgery three summers ago but didn’t tell the world until after it happened. It’s since been believed that she actually did give the world a head’s up, but everyone missed it.
Gomez, now 27, posted a generalized “thank you” to her supporters in 2017. The June 11th post took on a deeper meaning three months later.
Gomez broke the news of her then-recent kidney transplant in September 2017.
The singer’s need for a new organ came from her ongoing battle with lupus, an autoimmune disease with many side effects. Gomez’s first mention of lupus was actually a response to rumors that she’d been doing drugs.
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” Gomez told Billboard in 2015.
She’s taken a few breaks during her lengthy career, but is likely referencing her January 2014 stay at an Arizona treatment center.
“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a–holes.’ I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
The October 2015 interview came six days after Gomez announced her 2016 “Revival Tour.” Despite a strong start in May, Gomez’s health was quietly declining. She canceled the remaining tour dates in late August.
In her statement to PEOPLE, Gomez said that lupus “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 at the time, hoping “others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
The 2016 statement was given on August 30th. In mid-October, Gomez was reported to have entered another mental health treatment program.
One report claimed that Gomez “began spiraling” after her close friend Christina Grimmie was gunned down while signing autographs in Orlando. Gomez’s “Revival Tour” was also playing in Orlando that night, occurring less than three miles away from where “The Voice” star was killed.
Grimmie had been Gomez’s opening act on all of her previous tours – “The Revival Tour” was their first one apart. The two young singers built a fast friendship after Gomez’s parents discovered Grimmie on YouTube and pursued her for a management deal.
The alleged “goodbye” from Gomez came at the first anniversary of Grimmie’s death.
My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina pic.twitter.com/KWGwZZlj4t
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) June 11, 2016
Gomez shared the above photo on June 11, 2017. On the same day in 2016, she was mourning the loss of Grimmie (who had died the night before). That particular connection to the date isn’t confirmed, but several other confirmations drew extra attention to the date itself.
The first layer came when actress/friend Francia Raísa confirmed that Gomez’s kidney transplant surgery happened in June 2017 – the same month she posted the photo.
Raísa was also the organ donor. After learning that Gomez had been waitlisted for 7-10 years, she volunteered herself to see if her kidney was a match.
What really made Gomez’s message eerie was Raísa’s reveal that the operation almost didn’t take. In her words: “Selena did have a complication, too.”
“A few hours after our surgery,” Raísa told W, “I woke up and had a text from her that said, ‘I’m really scared.’ My kidney was very active, and when it turned I broke an artery. They had to take her into emergency surgery and get a vein from her leg and build a new artery to keep my kidney in place. She could have died.”
So while Gomez told the world about her kidney transplant surgery in September 2017, she never mentioned the second surgery that almost killed her – that part of the story wasn’t told until March 2018 (via Raisa’s interview).
Needless to say…learning that Selena Gomez almost died in June 2017 has people revisiting her message from June 11, 2017:
“My heart will forever and always be with people. There’s never enough I could do to thank you but more importantly show you that YOU matter and are beyond watched over.”
Keep reading for more on the surgery…
it's been 3 years since selena gomez said goodbye to her fans cause she thought she wouldn't make it through her surgery…. pic.twitter.com/6QPGMBkmMQ
— emrah💍(fan account) (@skinnysel) June 11, 2020