Sarah Chalke Talks about Her Son’s Illness
Getting into character is just part of an actor’s job. They study, research, and plan to make sure that their reactions, emotions, and expressions fit the particular scene they are portraying. While it may sometimes be hard for them to really get into the moment that was not the case recently for actress Sarah Chalke as she guest starred in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Her character was a woman fighting for the right diagnosis for her very sick child. The illness featured in the episode is Kawasaki disease, which causes an inflammation of the blood vessels and can lead to heart disease if left untreated; it is generally recommended that treatment for the disease begin within 10 days, a very short time frame.
The reason that Chalke did not have to dig very deep for the emotion she portrayed is because she went through the exact same thing with her son. She tells TVLine, “You present with all these symptoms, you get a lot of repeated misdiagnoses, you keep getting sent home [by doctors]. We fought really hard to see a specialist, but got the treatment on day 10½,” she says. “It was on the late side, but thank God Charlie is okay.” She goes onto to talk about how reliving the experience on screen was difficult, but in the end rewarding. Since the disease is so fast acting and many parents don’t know what to do when presented with the classic symptoms (such as bloodshot eyes; rash; red hands and feet; swollen lymph nodes; and a strawberry tongue) getting the information out there through a popular television show was important.
I cannot imagine what Chalke must have felt – not only while living the medical nightmare herself, but by also reliving it on the set of Grey’s Anatomy. I truly commend her for wanting to spread the word about the disease and bring awareness – not only to parents, but also family members who may be able to help save a child’s life by being informed about the symptoms. While I am sure she was compensated for her time, I often feel like the best service we can give as parents is sharing our own experiences with others to help prevent simple things from becoming major catastrophes.
Do you have a cause or platform that you feel strongly about in regards to your children?
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