Meredith's First 'Grey's Anatomy' Patient Is Back

by Alexandra Watt

Every diligent fan of Grey's Anatomy knows that working in a hospital means there are no true days off. Humans will always need medical care, and hopefully there will always be doctors there to provide aide — and, with any luck, they will be as good-looking as Meredith Grey or Derek Shepherd. Though the latter character has met a sad demise (R.I.P McDreamy), he left behind a legacy on Grey's Anatomy that all started with Derek and Meredith's first patient together, Katie Bryce. And now, 12 seasons later, Katie will be back according to Thursday's episode synopsis. But, what happened to Katie on Grey's Anatomy all those years ago?

It seems totally crazy to think that it has been 11 years since Grey's Anatomy premiered, but it's the plain truth. 2005 was when Destiny's Child broke up, Million Dollar Baby won big at the Oscars, and our hearts were mercilessly captured by the cuteness that was Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd.

During the pilot episode, America was introduced to the the future power couple who were both showcasing their skills as medical professionals (well, Meredith was an intern, but a good one!). Their first patient was Katie Bryce, a bratty 16-year-old pageant girl who initially came to Seattle Grace with a twisted ankle from a rhythmic gymnastics move gone wrong (does rhythmic gymnastics ever go right?).

But things went from bad to worse when Katie began suffering from seizures of which no one — not even the esteemed McDreamy — could figure out the cause. Derek then sought the advice of his interns, and Meredith and Cristina Yang paired up together to try to investigate the root problem behind Katie's terrifying affliction.

Meredith had her first of many shining star moments when she suddenly recalled that Katie mentioned her gymnastics fall and Meredith decided to examine Katie's head further, believing that the girl's tumble caused an aneurysm. Though Derek expressed reservations about this theory, he ultimately decided to believe Meredith, and, after running a scan, saw that Meredith was correct about the cause of Katie's seizures. Because Katie had bleeding in her brain, Derek decided that they should operate immediately (even though Katie balked at the idea of having her head shaved for surgery — total pageant move).

Derek enlisted the O.R. help of Meredith, for the logical reasoning she was Katie's doctor initially and discovered the cause of the problem, but Cristina read this as favoritism because Meredith and Derek had just slept together. The two women ultimately had a decidedly unfussy make-up, and well, we know what happened between Meredith and Derek. Die-hard trivia fact: Katie's CT scan was among one of the ones that Derek showed Meredith when he proposed to her in Season 5. (BRB, weeping forever.)

Though it's unclear what purpose Katie (who will still be played by Skyler Shaye according to the synopsis) will serve in the upcoming episode on Thursday, it's for sure going to bring back some memories for Meredith. Circumstances have certainly changed since they're last meeting, including the fact that it is not Derek who will be treating Katie, but his sister, Amelia Shepherd. According to Just Jared, Katie is being admitted again for seizures, so let's hope that Meredith can pull out her magical medical skills and save her life once more.

Images: Mitch Haaseth/ABC; thegoodghosts/Tumblr