While “Grey’s Anatomy” star Chandra Wilson diagnoses rare illnesses on a regular basis as Dr. Miranda Bailey on the hit ABC drama, one episode in particular was inspired by her own life.
In case you missed it, during an appearance this week on “Good Morning America,” the 47-year-old actress recalled that about six years ago, her 23-year-old daughter, Sarina McFarlane, became sick with tummy troubles like vomiting and abdominal pain. “It presented itself for a really bad case of food poisoning,” she said of the mysterious illness. “It didn’t go away for four or five days, so because of that we went to the ER.”
A month later, “the exact same presentation happened” and continued on for 10 months. “I started looking for patterns,” she explained. “When you are the parent of someone who is a chronic pain sufferer, you end up creating these binders for all of the hospital stays so you can keep track of every visit and any new thing that comes out.”
Nearly a year after symptoms presented themselves, McFarlane was diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), the Emmy-nominated actress revealed. “The name gave a direction to go in,” Wilson said. “And it put us in a community of people that seriously were going through the exact same thing stage by stage.”
Motivated by her daughter’s condition, during season 9, Wilson directed an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” in which she showed the difficulty of diagnosing CVS. “Being able to be on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ with all of those people able to watch it and hear it and say, ‘Oh my God. That’s what that is. I’ve heard of that. That’s my kid. That’s my husband. That’s my aunt,’ that’s something that I can do sitting in this chair on the set,” she shared. “Then my daughter has said, ‘Go ahead. Go and do that.’”