- “Grey’s Anatomy” may focus on the doctors, but there have been some seriously memorable patients too.
- Denny Duquette broke our hearts.
- William Dunn stuck around for a bit.
- This post contains spoilers.
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Now in Season 15, “Grey’s Anatomy” is television’s longest-running primetime medical drama, surpassing “E.R.” and just about everything else. And all of those years with all of those episodes mean one thing – plenty of patients. Though some didn’t leave a lasting impact, many became a big part of the show or were even main characters that turned into patients.
We rounded up some of the most memorable patients who came through Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital.
Susan Grey never quite clicked with Meredith.
Thatcher Grey, Meredith’s dad, got a new lease on life after he married Susan and had two more daughters. Susan really tried to bond with Meredith, which made it that much sadder when she died of the hiccups. Thatcher said some awful things to Meredith after, which was really the rotten cherry on top of a bad situation.
Beatrice made audiences weep.
Laurie Metcalf is a national treasure, so it’s no surprise that any character she played on “Grey’s Anatomy” would be pure gold. In her “Grey’s” stint, Metcalf played Beatrice, a mum with terminal cancer who had been hiding it from her teenage daughter. Eventually, she had to tell her child she was going to die and would miss things like her wedding and graduation, leaving not one dry eye in the house.
Megan Clover was a girl who could not feel pain.
Abigail Breslin played an elementary school kid who couldn’t feel any pain – literally. She used to let kids punch her in the stomach on the playground, and she also put her hand in a bowl of ice to try and outlast Alex Karev’s pain threshold. She won.
Pamela Calva certainly had a memorable condition.
Season 1’s rarest case was the woman who had dozens of spontaneous orgasms a day. It would seem fun – most of the Seattle Grace doctors thought so – but really, it was a burden. Especially when that woman’s dad came to find her in the pit. Hello, embarrassment.
Katie Bryce is a fan favourite.
The one who started it all – Katie was Meredith and Derek’s first patient, a pageant queen with a bump on her head. It was the first time that Meredith was accused of nepotism and/or sleeping with Derek because she got picked for a case over Cristina. Katie recovered, and so did the Cristina/Meredith friendship.
She returned to the show in 2016 in an emotional appearance, and again ended up OK.
Frankie’s storyline was heartbreaking.
Picture this – you have two daughters, and both need heart transplants. This was one of Cristina’s toughest cases because there was only one heart and two kids to give it to. Cristina ended up giving the heart to Ivy, Frankie’s sister because she had a better chance of recovery. Cristina’s agonizing decision still brings tears to fans’ eyes.
Adele Webber’s death was almost too much to bear.
Adele had a huge impact on the course of the show. She has had many emotional scenes over the years, fighting with husband Richard, her grief following her miscarriage, but perhaps her most heart-wrenching were her scenes following her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Watching her battle her own mind was heartwrenching, but when she died from a heart attack following surgery on the day of Bailey’s wedding, it was almost too much to bear.
Bonnie and Tom were a part of one of the most memorable episodes.
What “Grey’s Anatomy” fan doesn’t remember Bonnie and Tom? These train passengers were impaled and critically injured during a train wreck, and the Seattle Grace doctors had to decide who they could save as they moved the pole that joined the two of them together. Bonnie’s injuries were catastrophic, yet she was so peaceful when they let her go. She was brave, she made jokes. She was amazing.
Tom survived and shared an emotional scene with his family that was bittersweet to watch.
Beth Monroe was hard not to love.
Beth Monroe was the first patient to survive Meredith and Derek’s clinical trial. She met fellow patient Jeremy during treatment at the Mayo Clinic and the two were inseparable, which of course, made it all the more heartbreaking when he died.
Though Beth’s parents disapproved of their relationship, viewers rooted for her as she fought to be with him anyway.
Denny Duquette had a huge role.
The LVAD wire that launched a thousand inquiries. Denny was a heart patient who fell in love with Izzy. In turn, Izzy tampered with his equipment so that Denny could get a heart transplant. He died anyway (blood clot), causing Izzy to fall into a pit of grief. Izzy also saw Denny as a ghost in a later season.
Nick’s storyline was super high-stakes.
Seth Green’s Nick had a carotid artery that burst all over Lexie Grey. She had to plug the spurting blood with her finger, and naturally, since she had her finger in his neck, Lexie and Nick got close while the doctors were prepping to fix it. It was a high-stakes situation, which made it worse when Nick eventually passed away.
Lou was the victim of his own mind.
Lou wasn’t a bad man, but he did a bad thing. While in a fugue state, he attacked Meredith, sending her into her own coma-like state and stealing her hearing for the better part of an episode. Lou didn’t know what he was doing, but it didn’t make Meredith’s attack sequence any less frightening to watch.
The two had a touching scene at the end of the episode, leaving viewers in shambles.
Mary Portman’s storyline was chaotic.
Mary, played by Mandy Moore, really knew trauma. She was admitted into Grey Sloan for an everyday procedure, but then a gunman tore through the hospital. She and Dr. Bailey tried to comfort a dying Charles Percy, and even though Mary survived the gunfire, she did not survive her eventual surgery. Heartbreaking.
William Dunn was a death-row inmate.
Few patients get arcs of more than two episodes, but Eric Stoltz did here, playing a death-row inmate who was about to be executed by the state. He was stabbed by a fellow inmate and the doctors at Grey Sloan had to take care of him. These episodes really opened up discussions about capital punishment and recidivism. They were so powerful, thanks to Stoltz’s performance.
Andrew Langston had a sweet storyline.
You may know him as “Cement Kid,” but Andrew was a teenager who jumped into a vat of cement in order to win favour with the girl he had a crush on. It was a miracle he survived, given all that the doctors had to do to save him, but the other win was that Callie was able to show the girl he liked that she had feeling for him too.
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