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Tear Jerker / Untold Stories of the E.R.

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  • In "Short-Circuited Heart", a young father brings in his 5-month-old daughter, horrified that there are maggots nesting in the skin between her fingers. It's later revealed that the mother left and is no longer in the picture; he's raising the girl all by himself. When he learns that the maggots are the larvae of hornflies, which normally target cows, he fretfully explains that he works at a dairy part-time, and brings his daughter with him because he doesn't have anyone to watch her at home. He starts crying, horrified that he inadvertently caused his daughter's condition. It's gotta be painful to learn that you accidentally hurt your child by trying to be a responsible parent.
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  • In "Man with Two Faces", the eponymous patient learns he has a cancerous mass in his lung; and a normal X-ray taken just a year prior suggests the cancer is aggressive. The patient starts tearing up when he finds out, and the doctor is so moved that he hugs him — something he doesn't normally do with patients. To make things even harder, the patient doesn't have any family to support him, and is also contending with schizophrenia.
  • In "Campstove Stuffing", a woman brings in her 6-year-old son, who is paralyzed on his left side and unable to speak. Right after discovering the boy has had a massive stroke, the doctor learns that the mother's husband just died two weeks ago. Now she has to face the possibility of also losing her only child. Understandably, she spends the next several minutes sobbing at her son's bedside.
    • Things manage to get even harder for her when she's forced to choose between letting the blood clot kill him or cause permanent damage, and consenting to a treatment that could very well kill him. Fortunately, the boy's treatment is successful and he makes a full recovery, with no residual effects whatsoever.
  • In "Minutes to Live", Dr. Joy Slade worked very hard to keep her patient alive long enough to hand off to a surgeon, but as the hours pass she isn't optimistic that the patient survived. She goes to the recovery room, figuring that if the patient is alive, she'll be there. She isn't. So she goes to the ICU and looks for her name in their records. It's not there. She trudges back to the ER, looking defeated. A nurse recognizes Slade by her shoes, and informs her that her patient did make it, and was just transferred to the ICU.
  • In "Girlfriend, Wife, Stroke!", a man named Corey is bitten by a young child, and because he recently had a liver transplant, he's on strong immunosuppressants that allow the bacteria to spread, causing septic shock. Mark, the friend whose daughter bit him, looks even more distraught than the family members, wracked with guilt that Corey might die because of his daughter. As Corey's condition turns critical, it's mentioned that Corey is supposed to get married soon, and Mark is the best man.
    • Later, the doctor allows one visitor to join the unconscious patient. His fiancée is chosen to be with him, and the doctor encourages her to talk to him. She does: "Corey, come back to us. Corey… Corey, if you die, little Becky will have to live with it her whole life. And then Mark will never forgive himself." Then she leans in close and whispers, "Don't you wanna marry me?"
  • The subplot with the young mother in "Diagnose Me!" is incredibly sad as the mother is aware that she could die and leave her daughter alone and said daughter is deaf and confused.

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