Grey’s Anatomy: Every Time Meredith Almost Died

Meredith Grey is the lead of Grey’s Anatomy, and as such, she’s one of the few characters from season 1 that is still part of the show, but the road hasn’t been easy, and she has been close to dying various times throughout Grey’s Anatomy – and here’s every one of them. Medical drama is one of the most popular branches of television, and one of the most popular and successful titles in recent years is Grey’s Anatomy. Created by Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy premiered on ABC in 2005 and has been unstoppable ever since, even though its quality has decreased over the years.

Grey’s Anatomy follows the basic premise of medical dramas, focusing on the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attendings as they do their best to balance their professional and personal lives, which often overlap and create a lot of drama inside and outside the hospital. Grey’s Anatomy is led by Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who fans have seen go from intern (alongside many other fan-favorite characters) at Seattle Grace Hospital to Director of the Residency Program to Head of General Surgery. The road to success hasn’t been easy for Meredith, who has gone through many obstacles in her personal and professional life, even putting her life at risk on many occasions.

Over the course of 18 seasons, Meredith Grey has been close to dying for different reasons – diseases, accidents, and even some unusual situations in the operating room. However, Meredith has shown her strength in every one of those life-threatening moments and has overcome them with the help of those closest to her – and as long as the show keeps going, she will surely continue to get involved in risky situations. Here’s every time Meredith Grey almost died in Grey’s Anatomy.

A Live Bomb Inside A Patient

In Grey’s Anatomy season 2’s episode “It’s the End of the World”, Meredith didn’t want to go to the hospital one day because she felt like she might die – and while she was referring to her ongoing situation with Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and his then-wife Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), she wasn’t wrong about that particular feeling. A patient arrived that day with a live, unexploded bomb inside him, with a paramedic holding the bomb inside of him, which kept the patient alive but put the whole hospital in great danger. After hours of scans and trying to find the best solution, the paramedic pulled her hand out and ran out of the OR, with Meredith immediately taking her place and putting her hand inside the patient, holding the bomb. In the second part of the episode, appropriately titled “As We Know It”, Meredith took the bomb out of the patient’s body and successfully handed it to the head of the bomb squad, Dylan Young (Kyle Chandler), but as he walked down the hallway outside the OR and Meredith watched him go, the bomb exploded, knocking her down and killing Dylan.

Almost Drowned

Grey’s Anatomy season 3 saw Meredith almost drowning in the episode “Drowning On Dry Land”. In it, Meredith, Izzie (Katherine Heigl), Alex (Justin Chambers), George (T.R. Knight), and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) went to the site of a ferry boat accident. There, after stabilizing a patient’s wounded leg with the help of a little girl, the man panicked and pushed Meredith off the edge and into the bay. The girl later showed Derek what happened to Meredith and he jumped into the water to rescue a pale, seemingly dead Meredith. Derek unsuccessfully performed CPR on her and Meredith flatlined, which took her into a state of limbo in her mind where she interacted with other deceased characters, such as Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Dylan, and her own mother, Ellis Grey (Kate Burton). Meredith was ultimately brought back to life, but Derek was left wondering if she just gave up and let herself drown.

Confronted A Gunman

Jumping to Grey’s Anatomy season 6, the episode “Death And All His Friends” had Meredith confronting a man who went on a shooting rampage at Seattle Grace to avenge the death of his wife. As the shooter, Gary, prepared to kill Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) for helping Derek (who had already been shot), Meredith stepped in and told him to shoot her instead, that way he would get the revenge and justice he wanted. Gary only wanted to kill three doctors: Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), and Derek, all of them involved in the death of his wife. Meredith told Gary that by shooting her he would get revenge on all of them, and as he pointed at her, Cristina yelled that Meredith was pregnant, stopping Gary and giving Owen the chance to jump at him. Gary didn’t shoot Meredith, and he killed himself at the end of the episode.

Plane Crash

One of the most memorable moments in Grey’s Anatomy was the plane crash in season 8. In the episode “Migration”, Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), Lexie, and Alex were scheduled to fly to assist the surgery of conjoined twins at a hospital in Boise, but there was a last-minute change and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) took Alex’s place as she learned he was planning to leave Seattle Grace Hospital. At the end of the episode, the plane crashed in the woods, and the fate of the team was revealed in the next episode, appropriately titled “Flight”: Lexie died as she was crushed by a piece of the plane, Arizona got a piece of metal stuck in her leg, Derek on his hand, and Cristina, Mark, and Meredith didn’t have any visible, critical wounds, but Mark died days later at the hospital as a consequence of his injuries.

Ruptured Spleen

In Grey’s Anatomy season 9’s episode “Perfect Storm”, a storm left the hospital with no power and a pregnant Meredith wanting to join in on a surgery. Meredith ran up the stairs to join the OR, slipped, and rolled down the stairs, after which she was admitted. Meredith had to get a C-section (in the dark, as the power went off and the generators failed to engage), and as they were closing up, her doctor had to leave to attend to other patients, so Shane Ross (Gaius Charles) was left in charge of Meredith. He then found heavy bleeding inside Meredith and realized it was her spleen, so Meredith instructed him on how to stop the bleed. With the help of Bailey, Meredith’s life was saved and she later reunited with her family.

Attacked By A Patient

Meredith’s next close encounter with death happened in season 12’s episode “The Sound of Silence”, in which Meredith attended a man named Lou who got involved in a multi-car pileup. Meredith ordered a head CT and paged neuro after seeing Lou had asymmetrical pupils, and after a while, he started seizing. When the seizure stopped, Meredith examined his injuries, and as she turned away to make a note in his chart, he regained consciousness and got out of bed. Meredith tried to get him back into the bed but he attacked her, shoving her into the wall and brutally throwing her around the room. Meredith was left with multiple injuries (fractures, dislocations, and more) all over her body that put her life in danger, and it took a long, six-week recovery for her to get back on her feet.


Of course, Grey’s Anatomy added the coronavirus pandemic to its storylines, and it was the basis of season 17. Unsurprisingly, Meredith got COVID and once again had to fight for her life. After working at the special COVID-19 ICU and performing surgery with Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood), Meredith collapsed in the hospital’s parking lot and started dreaming of a beach, which she had already seen during her short naps in the COVID ICU. Meredith was admitted to a regular room on a COVID ward and her dreams continued every time she fell asleep, and there she was greeted by characters who are no longer in the show: Derek, George, Lexie, and Mark. Naturally, Meredith managed to make a full recovery and she’s now back on track with her duties at the hospital, but after everything she has gone through, it wouldn’t be surprising if future seasons continue to put her in life-threatening situations.

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