Grey's Anatomy is known for its wildly unexpected medical cases, ranging from spontaneous orgasms to various impalings, but the list of emotionally charged and tear-jerking cases is equally abundant.
Shonda is good at building patient stories so we grow invested in the success of patient outcomes alongside the doctors, and when those don't go as planned we too feel the rollercoaster of emotions.
Maybe it's due to the artfully chosen soundtrack that plays at the perfect moments, the heart wrenching monologue provided by the patient , or the fact that they're either partings between parents and children or lifelong lovers. Whatever it may be, there is a reason Grey's Anatomy is classified as a drama.
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Some patients last a short episode while some prevail over a period of three or four. The length certainly has a lot to do with the amount of investment we put into them.
Here we've compiled a list of the most sob-worthy cases that have been featured on the show. Test your Grey's Anatomy knowledge and see if you remember these!
Don't forget to comment your thoughts below letting us know of any you think we may have missed!
And as always, you can watch Grey's Anatomy online here via TV Fanatic!
Jackson Prescott is Bailey's prized patient who came in regularly for treatment of his liver and bowel. He was on the verge of death in Grey's Anatomy Season 5 Episode 13 and Bailey told his mother to hold him and say goodbye. In a split second, he was rushed to the O.R. and saved after they found an organ donor. The moment his mother started telling him it was ok for him to go we were all done for. Anytime Bailey cries we all cry.
What an ending to a very sad love story on Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Episode 14. Emile was brought to the hospital after the roof collapsed at the restaurant he worked at. He had been admitted with one of the regular customers Mrs. Banks, the woman he had fallen in love with 15 years prior. He was telling the love story to Alex without knowing that Mrs. Banks was awake and listening. He eventually died after a sudden epidural bleed.
Mary was among the patients in the hospital during the tragic shooting that shook Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Episode 24. She survived the shooting and was brought back later to remove a colostomy bag. Bailey performed the surgery error-free, yet Mary didn't wake up from the anesthesia on Grey's Anatomy Season 7 Episode 7. There was no explanation for her not waking up, so Bailey had to tell her husband Bill that she had no idea why Mary died.
Jessica Smithson was a little girl diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, an incurable disease on Grey's Anatomy Season 5 Episode 20. She was six years old when she came in. There was nothing they could do, and her father Matt was still trying to gather the money for them to go to Mexico. Finally, Bailey had to calm him down and tell him to lie next to her as she passed. As he lied next to her he talked to her about the amazing trip they would have in Mexico together.
Rosemary was a patient on Grey's Anatomy Season 5 Episode 7 who came in to have her Mets removed, a procedure with a low success rate. As predicted when she came out of surgery she was brain dead and her husband Henry attempted CPR to keep her heart beating, while the doctors stood to the side respecting her DNR request. Watching Henry perform CPR in desperation to revive the love of his life broke us all.
Gus came in with a rare blood type and needed a transfusion, but there was only one donor in the world available. Of course, the donor had agoraphobia, and when her therapist was taken away by immigration, she was left in an anxious panic. Gus' mother FaceTimed Frances begging her to help her dying son. This moving moment certainly started the downfall of tears on Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 24.
Lily Anderson was brought to the hospital on Grey's Anatomy Season 8 Episode 10 after her family crashed into the back of the ambulance during a rainstorm carrying Meredith, Alex, and a premie baby. She chose to take her father off ventilation declaring that she was the head of the household after having turned 18 four hours prior. Watching both her parents and her grandmother die and realizing she was now in charge of her two younger siblings was heartbreaking to watch. What a tragic story.
Wallace Anderson was the little boy from Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Episode 8 who suffered from Short Gut Syndrome. His parents decided to donate $25 million dollars to the hospital for research to find a cure for Wallace's condition. His health quickly went downhill and his parents pressured Arizona Robbins into performing a risky surgery in order to extend his life by two months. He died due to septic shock after the procedure.
Cece Colvin was the matchmaker from Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Episode 24 who had a rocky hospitalization. She helped Meredith find love again before her sad death during her kidney transplant. She was such a light at the hospital with her belief in love and happiness. It was a hard death for the season.
Frankie was a patient who died while waiting for a heart transplant on Grey's Anatomy Season 10 Episode 21. Christina Yang made the hard decision to give the available heart to Frankie's sister Ivy who had a greater chance of survival. They attempted to give Frankie an artificial heart, but she died in the OR. Frankie's parents had gone through the wringer watching all three children simultaneously fight for their lives. It was truly heartwrenching witnessing Owen and Christina break the news to her parents. When Christina cries it's serious.
Beatrice Carver was the mother of a daughter who hid the fact that she was dying of cancer on Grey's Anatomy Season 2 Episode 22. It wasn't until the end of the episode when she sits her daughter down and imparts all her motherly wisdom onto her that she finally reveals she won't be getting any better. This mother-daughter moment had us all in tears as we went to go hug or call all of our mothers.
Denny Duquette, does he even need a description? Izzy Steven's eventual fiance who came in for a heart transplant, but after many complications decided to get an LVAD on Grey's Anatomy Season 5 Episode 23. Once they found a heart for him they needed to prove he was in bad enough shape to need it, so Izzie cut his LVAD to worsen his condition. He received the heart, but threw a clot and died as Izzie was running to him to show her wedding dress.
Almost as memorable as Denny Duquette, Henry Burton had Von-Hippel-Lindau syndrome and no insurance to cover hospital bills. Teddy Altman married him in order to provide him coverage. He experienced many complications and they later found a tumor near his heart. His final surgery was performed by Christina who wasn't provided his identity during the surgery until after he ended up dying on the table on Grey's Anatomy Season 8 Episode 10.