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Heartwarming / Untold Stories of the E.R.

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  • Especially in particularly miraculous cases, the patient often gives their doctor a gift as an expression of their gratitude:
    • In "Grandma's Back", Dr. Richard Sonner continued resuscitative efforts on 21-year-old Susan Klein for over 2 hours (the standard is 15 minutes), despite the near-certainty that she wouldn't make it (and the risk she'd be left in a persistent vegetative state if she did make it). She fully recovered, and 12 days later on Christmas Day, she gave him a pen decorated with a caduceus, and inscribed with the date that he saved her life.
      • She went on to graduate from university with a 4.0 GPA, get married, and start law school.
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    • In "Girlfriend, Wife, Stroke!" a man almost dies after being bitten by his best man's young daughter, because he was on immunosuppressants that let the infection spread rapidly. After the patient recovers, the girl who bit him leaves the doctor a present: A crayon drawing of herself and her parents, surrounded by hearts.
  • In "Beyond Recognition", Thomas seems to be a workaholic to the point of being on the phone with his boss as he's being wheeled into the ER, refuses to recognize that there's any need for concern, and is chiefly concerned with leaving so he can get to a dinner. Sounds like the kind of guy who'd be abrasive and condescending, right? But he isn't. He sincerely believes there is no reason for the doctor to be keeping him there, and he is no doubt quite frustrated about the situation, yet his tone is friendly, cheerful, and polite throughout.
    • Thomas's relationship with his wife, Olivia. When he first mentions being late to a dinner, one would assume it is work-related, since he was on the phone with his boss when he was wheeled in. But it turns out the dinner is for his anniversary, and it becomes clear that he is very concerned with being on time for it.
      Initially it seems that this is because he fears his wife's wrath: He describes the risk of serious injury from the accident as worth it compared to the "inherent danger" he'll be in if he misses his anniversary dinner; and when he sees the wreckage of his accident, his concern is not for his own safety, but for his car…because apparently his wife is going to kill him.
      So far it sounds like his wife is a shrew, but this too is proved incorrect once she actually arrives. When she asks the staff if he's been in "another accident", she sounds amused and a bit exasperated, but not angry or cold. And far from being upset with him about dinner, he is the only one still worrying about it, while she can only express shock and concern over his condition. As Thomas apologizes for the delay, Olivia's face is a mixture of pity and disbelief that he's worrying about dinner at a time like this.
      When she distraughtly asks if he knows what he looks like, his response is "You look nice!" Even in her distress, she tenderly mutters a "Thank you" before whipping out a mirror to show him the severity of his condition. (As she's doing so, Thomas proudly informs the doctor, "That's my wife.")
      While Thomas is recovering, Dr. Michos checks on him to find that he and Olivia have ordered takeout to serve as their anniversary dinner, complete with champagne and some flowers, served on his meal tray on a makeshift tablecloth. Thomas lies in his bed with a clip-on bow tie, and Olivia sits next to him on the edge of the bed, wearing a lovely dress. "I told you, nothing's going to stand in the way of us celebrating our marriage." As Dr. Michos leaves, Thomas and Olivia wish each other a happy anniversary, and clink their champagne glasses.
      • Also of note is that this is not his first accident, and Olivia's entreaty for him to, "for once", pay attention to what's going on; which together imply that he's inattentive in all spheres of his life, not just regarding his health. And yet, he has no trouble whatsoever paying attention to his wife. In fact, she was the reason he wasn't paying attention to his condition. It says a lot that she is the only thing in his life that we know he can always pay attention to. She also apparently isn't nearly as bad-tempered as he'd implied (if at all), which means his anxiety over how she would react was seemingly founded on nothing but his own distress about letting her down. That's how much he cares about making her happy.
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    • The ending. Thomas asks Dr. Michos when the last time was that he ate, and when Michos insists he's fine, Thomas says, "You gotta learn to listen to your body, doc. I learned that. At least have a cookie."
  • In "Ice Cold Mom", after the ordeal Dr. Kip Adrian's patient went through (he had a bug in his ear — and had a long-standing phobia of bugs going inside his body), a nurse offers both him and his wife a lollipop, which they accept with humour and genuine appreciation.
  • In "Short-Circuited Heart", a single father of a 5-month-old girl discovers that her condition was caused by him taking her into his unsanitary work environment, which he did because he had no one else to take care of her. The doctors suggest asking his parents for help, but he doesn't believe they'll agree, because they disapproved of his having the baby in the first place. The next scene shows his parents at his side, apparently having reconciled and agreed to help him with the baby.
  • In "Man with Two Faces", a woman is brought in from a house fire, suffering from smoke inhalation, and then told that she's having a heart attack…and almost all she can do is scream desperately for her cat, who is still in the house. The situation is horrific, but that she's concerned only for her cat even while having a heart attack is moving to say the least.
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    • Later, while she's recovering from surgery, the police bring in her cat, who was found in the rubble unharmed. Her joy is palpable.
  • In "Short-Circuited Heart", a patient fully believes that a curse someone put on her is real, and that she has a demon in her liver as a result. Her efforts to get rid of the demon have given her kidney failure, and any attempt to reverse the damage will be useless if she doesn't stop doing what she's doing; so in order to convince her that she can stop, the ER doctor finds someone who can perform an exorcism. After the exorcism, the patient rejoices, hugging herself joyously and throwing her arms in the air. The fact that the liver demon wasn't real doesn't make her palpable relief and jubilation any less moving.
  • In "Stabbed in the Heart", Dr. Andy Brown's efforts to resuscitate the eponymous patient seem to be having no effect. After half an hour, he is ready to call it, but the nurses assisting him encourage him to keep trying.
    "I kept resuscitating him because everybody was encouraging me to keep going. I was sorta new there, and I didn't know that they trusted me that much. I didn't think they had that confidence in me. So when they did, it made me more confident in myself."
  • In "Girlfriend, Wife, Stroke!", a man is bitten by a young child, and the infection spreads to the point of septic shock because of the immunosuppressants he's on. When he's unconscious and in critical condition, the doctor allows one visitor to join him, which ends up being his fiancée. When she talks to his unconscious form, the first thing she says isn't how much she needs him, or how much she'll miss him if he dies. It's that Becky — the little girl who bit him — will have to live with it her whole life if he dies; and that Becky's father Mark — the patient's best man — will never forgive himself. Even though her fiancé is possibly on his death bed, she is thinking of someone else's feelings before her own.
  • In "Halloween in the ER", the young patient's father tries to kidnap him from the hospital when child abuse is suspected. The father is quickly apprehended and arrested by police, sending the little boy into hysterics. The doctor asks to speak to the child alone, and cheers him up by showing him a magic trick. The boy's face brightens immediately when the trick is complete.
  • In "Never Say Die", two nurses are out for a break when they encounter a stabbing victim near a bar. As they carry him back to the hospital, one of the nurses feels his wallet fall out of his pocket. A scruffy-looking man makes a beeline for it, and the nurse calls out to him to bring it to him at the hospital. The man absently says "Okay", but is already leafing through the wallet. At the end of the episode, the nurse is telling his coworkers the story, when someone tells him that someone "has been waiting a while" for him in triage. The nurse goes out to find the scruffy-looking man, who is returning the wallet as requested.
    • The nurse expects everything to be gone, but is shocked to discover that all his cards and money are still inside, untouched. He's so grateful that he calls the man back, and gives him a bill from his wallet. Then he calls him back again, and gives him another one. Then he calls him back yet again and gives him yet another one.
  • In "Creepy Crawlies", half a young woman's face is mangled by a dog bite. The dog belonged to a neighbour, who the patient's father blames for the injury. So when the neighbour arrives to see if she's alright, the father loses it and punches him in the face, breaking his nose. When they cross paths again, the neighbour flinches, expecting more violence. After a few tense moments, the father says, "…Oh no. I broke your nose." He apologizes for losing his temper, and each assures the other there are no hard feelings.
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