S7 E06 These Arms of Mine

10/28/10 | TV-14 | CC

Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital—Home to some of the finest, most influential doctors in the country. Six months ago, a gunman roamed these halls leaving 11 people dead and even more injured. Today we visit the survivors, their patients, their triumphs and their disappointments. This is Seattle Medical: Road to Recovery.

These are the opening words to the documentary featuring more than a few of our favorite docs as they tackle the cases of the day. Grab some popcorn, plant yourself on the couch and enjoy the show.

Bailey treats Mary Portman (guest star Mandy Moore), a woman who was supposed to have colostomy reversal surgery six months ago. The shooting postponed it until today. Bailey tells the filmmakers that she doesn’t usually hug her patients, but this one is special. Mary’s successful procedure has Bailey all smiles.

Derek, Mark, Owen and Callie are performing a bilateral arm transplant on Zack, a logger who lost his arms four months ago. If you think this is a rare procedure, you’re right. Lexie notices that the arm donor has a tattoo of the name Nicole, who is the dead man’s wife. Both the patient and his wife agree that Nicole will be their new favorite name if it means getting those new arms.

The surgery goes well with the first arm, but a clot develops in the second. Callie jumps in, tells the rest of the room to shut up as she does her thing. And Dr. Torres does her thing well. The second arm pinks up as applause fills the OR. And it’s all caught on film!

The documentary crew catches Cristina looking hesitant, unsure and even a little scared. Cristina downplays the hero label she’s been given. But Meredith says she’s certainly a hero to her. Lexie is also caught on film as she constantly has run-ins with the security guards when her ID doesn’t scan. She ends up setting off the hospital alarm when she bolts past the guards so she won’t miss the arm transplant surgery.

The automatic lockdown causes Jackson to freak out when he’s trapped in a small area with a crashing patient. Teddy desperately tries to get the guard to override the system. When the doors finally open, Jackson won’t stop his CPR compressions. He can’t. He’s had a bit of a breakdown. Jackson talks to the documentary filmmakers. He says, “It’s been hard since the shooting. I lost some friends that day.” Not much more to say after that.

Alex and Arizona treat Lily, a young girl with a benign growth on her windpipe. Speaking of Arizona, she recently won a prestigious grant. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but it means moving to Africa. As you can imagine, this doesn’t sit well with Callie. A shouting match is interrupted when Alex brings in Lily’s less than stellar lab results. They need to remove the little girl’s trachea to get the entire tumor.

Arizona performs an experimental procedure that could save Lily. They remove part of her rib to harvest her bone’s cartilage to create a mixture of her own cells to manufacture a new trachea. The procedure goes well. Alex knows that he must spend the next four weeks caring for the new trachea until it’s time to put it into Lily. He doesn’t seem to mind putting in the time.

The documentary film team returns four weeks after initial filming. Things have changed. Zack’s new arms are healing nicely. He added another tattoo under the one that read “Nicole.” This second message says “thank you.” As for Lily, she went back to school and was asked to share the best part of her experience at Seattle Grace Mercy West. So she brought Dr. Alex Karev in to meet her fourth grade class.

Arizona and Callie worked out their differences regarding the move to Africa. Oh, Arizona is still going. Only now, Callie’s going with her. You heard us. Both Dr. Torres and Dr. Robbins have resigned. The other jarring news of note is that Bailey’s patient, Mary, took a bad turn after her procedure. She never woke up after surgery and she probably never will. The Chief says, “It’s hard to imagine someone surviving a crazy gunman and then not to survive such a simple surgery.”

The documentary ends with the filmmaker’s final question to Cristina. She’s asked if there’s any one thing she’ll take away from all this. Cristina responds, “Being a hero has its price.” SMASH TO BLACK.

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