Cormac Hayes is the new Head of Pediatric Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

History[edit | edit source]

Early Life[edit | edit source]

He grew up in Ireland.[1]

Meeting Abigail, Her Illness, and Being Widowed[edit | edit source]

Cormac and Abigail get to know each other.

Cormac was at a surgical conference where Abigail, a representative from a drug company who was handing out pens, caught his eye as he entered the hotel. Later, she joined him at the bar and offered him a pen. He informed her that the pen was advertising an erectile dysfunction drug, explaining why none of the men wanted to take them. She hadn't known because she was an artist who only took the job for money. He invited her for a drink and took the rest of her pens from her so she'd agree. They ended up getting married and having two children.

When Abigail was 33, she developed fibroids in her uterus. She went in for a minimally-invasive hysterectomy, but it turned out one of the fibroids was actually a cancerous tumor and the machine used to make the hysterectomy minimally-invasive spread the cancer around her body. She underwent treatment, including two clinical trials, but they were unsuccessful. When she reached the point where she knew she was going to die, she talked to Cormac about her wishes for their children and told him it was okay for him to fall in love again. Shortly afterward, she died.[2]

First Day[edit | edit source]

Cormac started his new job at Grey Sloan Memorial. He went to round on his first patient, Jamie Caldwell, and found that they'd already started. He asked that they wait for him in the future before rounding on his patients. He butted heads with Meredith Grey when he insisted on examining her himself and came to the same conclusion Meredith had. They ordered a CT, which showed a mass in her back between two ribs. Meredith believed it was a gallstone that had escaped during a previous surgery, but Cormac thought it might be a malignant mass. Meredith didn't want to mention a possible malignancy to Jamie and her mother, but Cormac insisted on telling them. They did a biopsy, which showed that the mass was not malignant. Meredith decided to remove the mass to see what it was. Cormac tried to object, but Meredith said it was her house and he was just a guest. The mass turned out to be exactly what Meredith predicted, impressing Cormac. He later saw her when he was leaving the hospital and told her that while he understood it was her house, someone had given him a key, so they needed to learn to live together. He explained that he told Jamie and her mother about the possible malignancy because his wife's doctors weren't transparent with him when she was dying. After he left, Meredith got a text from Cristina saying that Cormac was the package she had sent.[3]

Examining the Baby[edit | edit source]

When Jo Wilson brought in the baby who had been surrendered at Station 19, Cormac examined him. He said everything was good, except a minor rash which was nothing to worry about. Then he told Jo he's surprised she brought him in as he probably would have kept the baby himself, unaware that Jo had taken the baby home for several hours before bringing him to the hospital. He told Jo of his own sons, saying he believed he missed their best stage because he was a resident when his sons were babies.[4]

Vaping Case[edit | edit source]

Cormac was on the case when Kai Hale came into the ER with shortness of breath and coughing up blood. After seeing the CT, Cormac knew Kai had been vaping, which had destroyed his lungs and caused the bleeding in his esophagus. Cormac wanted to stop the bleeding and remove part of Kai's lung, but Meredith wanted to use coiling to stop the bleeding so they wouldn't have to remove part of his lung. Cormac agreed to let Meredith try her way, but it failed and they had to remove part of his lung anyway. Cormac said he wouldn't gloat, unlike Cristina, who had been the one on his side the first time he saw a case like that.[5]

Bringing His Sons to Work[edit | edit source]

Cormac brought his sons to the hospital on a day when there was no school due to parent-teacher conferences. During this time he introduced them to Meredith. They were reluctant to be shown around and then when the time came for them to go to their conference, he had trouble finding them and asked Meredith if she had seen them.[6]

Joey's Physical Therapy[edit | edit source]

When Joey Phillips resisted doing his physical therapy, Cormac brought him video games, hoping to encourage him to do his exercises. Joey said he couldn't, not without knowing that his siblings were safe. Bailey arranged to have the three of them come over to the hospital for a while to have pizza and play video games together.[7]

Blizzard[edit | edit source]

During a blizzard, Cormac became enraged when a liver became available for his patient, Elisa Tang, but couldn't be transported to the hospital due to the weather. He was grateful when Andrew offered to go on foot to retrieve the liver. While Andrew was gone, Cormac continued to monitor Elisa. When she started hemorrhaging, he and Meredith took Elisa into surgery to place a shunt to stop her bleeding. While they were in surgery, Cormac took the time to get to know Meredith and the two of them bonded over being widowed. When the liver arrived, they transplanted it into Elisa, who immediately started to improve. After her surgery was done, Cormac and Meredith told her parents she'd be okay. That evening, as he left the hospital, Cormac ran into Meredith and told her it was nice to talk to someone who understood what it was like to lose a spouse so young and that it helped to have a friend. Meredith said that it helped her too. He then confessed that Cristina did talk about having a twisted sister and asked Meredith if that was her. Meredith shrugged and smiled knowingly in response.[8]

Pro Bono Surgery Day[edit | edit source]

Cormac offered his services during the pro bono surgery day Meredith had planned. He made a joke about pro bono surgery day being every day in Ireland, which Meredith didn't appreciate. At the end of the day, Cormac came to see her and brought her tea. He congratulated her for pulling off the pro bono surgery day, but she was not as impressed with herself. In response he said he could now see the twistedness in her that Cristina Yang had talked about. She told him it took him long enough and thanked him for his help.[9]

Medical Conference[edit | edit source]

Cormac went to the Surgical Innovation Conference in Los Angeles upon Bailey's request. He was uncomfortable at the conference, as it reminded him of the time when he first met this wife Abigail at the same conference at the same hotel many years prior. When sales rep Dane Pinetti tried to pitch to Cormac and Teddy Altman on the possibility of his company partnering with Grey Sloan, Cormac revealed that he already knew how one of their most popular devices, the C-30 power morcellator, worked because it had killed his wife by spreading an isolated cancerous tumor throughout her body. As Cormac revealed the company knows that it's a problem but is paying to suppress the proof that it kills people. He refused to hear anything more from Dane, told him in no uncertain terms to leave, and passed on the drink. Dane left and Cormac apologized to Teddy for his outburst.[10]

Daya Burman[edit | edit source]

Cormac worked on the case of Daya Burman, who was at the hospital for a bilateral gracilis transfer to treat Moebius syndrome. During the surgery, he was surprised to find that other people at the hospital had knowledge of his dating life when Jo asked him if he used any dating apps. He told her he didn’t and she replied that he didn’t need to seeing as he has his own personal matchmaker referring to Cristina. He asked her what that was supposed to mean and in response she changed the subject. After the surgery, he told Jo he hated set-ups and tried to ask her more about it, but she refused to give him a straight answer. He then decided to ask Meredith to get a drink. She accepted, but said she was too exhausted to do it then and told him to ask her again another time. He told her he would and bid her goodnight.[11]

COVID-19 Pandemic[edit | edit source]

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit Seattle, Cormac worked alongside the other doctors and nurses at Grey Sloan to treat patients. He paged Meredith to assist him in operating on Frankie Morris, whom had had a kidney transplant two months prior. Frankie was readmitted because his abdomen was impaled by a tree branch. At the end of his shift, Cormac texted Meredith and invited her for a drink, saying that he had another bottle of whiskey in his office. Unfortunately, Meredith didn't see the text because she was asleep at the time. Having not received a response, Cormac headed home for the night only to discover Meredith passed out in the parking lot on the way to her car. Cormac tried to rouse her and when that was unsuccessful, he called for other staff members to help him.[12]

Luna Ashton[edit | edit source]

After Val Ashton was admitted and discovered to have an abdominal pregnancy Cormac worked with Carina DeLuca on baby Luna Ashton, who was born prematurely. Because the baby wasn't moving, Cormac and Carina intubated Luna, transferred her to an incubator, and then transported her to the NICU. Following the procedure, Cormac came to visit Meredith. He had previously asked Maggie Pierce about her condition and had heard that she was looking for a new Power of Attorney (POA). Due to the new COVID-19 protocols, Cormac had to video call her from outside her window in full personal protective equipment. He joked that she looked like crap and told her about the Luna Ashton case. They discussed her search for a new POA and Meredith admitted she was having a hard time choosing someone because everyone around the hospital was family. Cormac advised her to write down what she wanted and then choose someone who would choose her over and over again and would defend her choices. She asked if that was what Cormac did for his wife. He told her no and that he knew better than that and that his wife's sister was her POA. Cormac then told Meredith to get some sleep and in response, Meredith confided in him that she was afraid that if she fell asleep she might not wake up. Cormac then gave her a pep talk by telling her that everyone was scared of her because of how fierce she is and because she's got grit and fights to the death about the stupidest little things and that the virus had nothing on her. Meredith then ended the call and went to sleep.[13]

A few weeks later both Val and Luna’s conditions worsened and Cormac informed Jo, who was Val’s doctor, that Luna had a bronchogenic cyst and needed surgery because he thought she might want to go with him to tell Val. Jo was reluctant to do so because of Val’s worsening condition and low spirits. When Cormac explained Luna’s condition to Val she was upset and asked to see her. Jo told Val she’d bring Luna to see her before her surgery over Cormac's objections. Jo and Cormac argued about it afterwards. Cormac was firmly opposed because it would be against the rules and he felt it would put Luna at unnecessary risk. Jo argued that they already had to move Luna and this was just adding a stop. When Cormac still refused Jo asked him if he was nice before his wife died and Cormac reminded her that Meredith was laughing and joking a few hours before being put on a ventilator and that the rules exist to keep people safe. In response Jo asked him what he would do if it were Meredith asking to see her child. As a result, Cormac agreed to give her five minutes, but no more. They started moving Luna to see Val, but then Val started coding. Cormac took Luna to surgery while Jo ran the code on Val. After surgery Cormac brought Luna to the NICU where Jo informed him that Val had died. Cormac admitted that he was nicer before his wife died and that he was better in a lot of ways and that what Jo wanted to do was kind.[14] Cormac continued to treat Luna in the NICU over the following weeks and both Jo and Bailey came to visit her frequently.[15]

Kidnapping Victims[edit | edit source]

After the firefighters from Station 19 brought in two kidnapping victims who were injured in a house fire, Cormac worked with Levi Schmitt and Jackson Avery to treat the two girls, Shanice and Jada Williams, for smoke inhalation and, in Jada's case, second-degree burns on her left hand. After Jada's mother arrived and was reunited with her daughter, Cormac asked Jackson if that was his doing. Jackson responded that money was what did it as he had previously called his attorney who advocated on her behalf and subsequently used his own money to get Jada's mother out of jail.[16]

Supporting Meredith[edit | edit source]

After the unexpected death of Andrew DeLuca, Cormac volunteered to help treat COVID patients since they were short staffed and offered to help Teddy with Meredith’s case. Teddy accepted his help and since Meredith’s recent COVID test had come back negative and her status was improving she decided to try weaning her off the ventilator in the hope that she would be able to breath on her own. When he noticed how tired Teddy seemed he offered to handle weaning Meredith off the vent with the respiratory therapist so that she could get some rest. She declined. They tried lightening her sedation and ventilator settings, but the process was not successful and they had to revert back to the initial settings. When Amelia called so that Zola could talk to her mom, Cormac left the room to give them some privacy. He then told Richard that weaning Meredith off the vent hadn’t work as hoped and that Teddy wanted to try again in a day.[17]

Cormac commented that when his wife died his therapist told him that there was no wrong way to process the loss, but he thinks there is. That doing it over a computer screen is wrong. During this time Cormac went to visit Meredith often and even though he wasn’t sure if she could hear him, he sat at her bedside and talked to her about her kids and encouraged her to fight. He told her that her kids called every day and described one of their calls in vivid detail by telling her all about how he made Ellis laugh and how her siblings reacted. He told Meredith he believed she could get better because they were people at the hospital getting better every day and he believed she could be one of those people because he had heard stories of the other fights she'd already won and begged her to fight. Later on when the outdoor memorial for Andrew was held, he brought it up on the tablet for her and sat with her to watch it even though she was still unconscious.[18]

Supporting Irene[edit | edit source]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, his sister-in-law Irene was admitted to the hospital. When the pandemic began, she insisted on moving from Los Angeles to Seattle to look after her nephews, Liam and Austin, while Cormac worked at the hospital. Irene was rushed to the hospital by ambulance as a result of pain caused by a kidney stone. Cormac was upset that Irene didn't tell him and that he had to hear about it from his boys who called him. Cormac was distraught because Irene was a high-risk patient because she lives with Multiple Sclerosis and he and his children had already spent years watching his wife die of cancer. His stress was further compounded by the fact that Irene was resistant to Western medicine after what happened to her sister. As a result, he was short with Jo and frequently interrupted her and peppered her with questions, which frustrated her. When it was determined Irene would need surgery, Cormac paged Catherine Fox because he wanted the best possible care for her. While taking her to the OR, Cormac tried to give Irene a tour of the hospital, but admitted there wasn't much to see in a pandemic.[19]

Irene then asked to meet the general surgeon the boys had told her about. Cormac pretended not to know who Irene was referring to and she called him out and said the boys had told her about a general surgeon he worked with that he talks about all the time and that he smiled everytime he talked about her. Cormac relented, but told Irene she wouldn't be able to meet Meredith because she was currently on a vent in the ICU. Irene was disappointed she couldn't meet her and that Cormac had fallen for another woman who was sick. He promised to check in on her after the procedure. Jo and Catherine operated on Irene and halfway through the surgery, Jo came out to update Cormac on how she was doing. He was distraught because Irene was everything to his boys and he couldn't bear to tell them that someone else they love was gone. He told Jo he didn't want her to comfort him. What he wanted was for her to get back in there and save Irene. The surgery was successful and Irene was stable following the procedure. Cormac thanked Jo for her help.[20]

Treating Arthur Beaton[edit | edit source]

Cormac worked on the case of Arthur Beaton who at 14 months was in the hospital with multiple ventricular septal defects, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. He'd had previous surgeries which Cormac and Maggie performed, but none of them had been able to fix the defects. To stabilize him as he waited for a heart transplant, Cormac suggested a double-pump EXCOR, though Maggie said his chest cavity was too small for the procedure. Cormac was unhappy about this and felt that Maggie was giving up too easily and challenged her to find a solution. She recommended that he have a difficult conversation with Arthur’s parents. While working on Arthur’s case Cormac comforted his father Chris Beaton who was worried about both his son’s health and his wife who was suffering from depression and had been unable to get out of bed for weeks. After talking to Maggie, he went to see Luna in the NICU and paged Jo because he wanted to see a friendly face before he had to talk to Chris about taking his child off life support. In response Jo commented that Luna was the best because she didn’t judge and wasn’t selfish, bitter, or resentful.[21]

Jo said she hoped it stayed that way and Luna wouldn’t grow to resent the hand she’d been dealt. She told Cormac that she spent a lot of time being angry about how she came into the world and it took her a long time to realize that the anger didn't serve her and the more she let it go, the better off she'd be. That letting it go was like breaking off the crusty black pieces of her heart. Hearing Jo describe her process gave Cormac an idea about how to help Arthur. He then paged Maggie to Arthur’s room and proposed that they remove part of his heart to create the space they needed for the artificial heart that could stay in place until a donor heart became available. Chris was extremely reluctant to let them do the procedure but consented after Hayes explained that Arthur was running out of options. Cormac and Maggie operated on Arthur with Intern Reza Khan assisting them. They completed the surgery and then took him off bypass. At first nothing happened, but after a few tense moments Arthur established a sinus rhythm and Cormac and Maggie rejoiced and celebrated along with everyone else in the OR while the doctors in the gallery cheered. The surgery was successful and Arthur was stable following the procedure.[22]

Personality[edit | edit source]

He is a humorous man and has been shown to be good with kids and teenagers alike.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Romantic[edit | edit source]

He was married until his wife, Abigail Hayes, died. He says that before she died, the doctors weren't transparent with him, which is why he tells families everything he knows. It is clear he loved Abigail very dearly because he developed a deep hatred for Wilkes and Boon, a company that created a medical device that resulted in her uterine cancer spreading throughout her body and ultimately killing her, to the point he threatened to kill a sales representative from that company when they wanted to partner with Grey Sloan.

Upon moving to Seattle he began developing a relationship with Meredith Grey. At first their relationship was a rocky one as they butted heads over the case of Jamie Caldwell. However, following that they worked together on the case of Kai Hale during which Cormac apologized for his previous behavior and the two became friends. Eventually Cormac asked Meredith out and she accepted. However, before they could go out on a date the COVID-19 Pandemic hit Seattle and so they took to having drinks in his office instead. All of which was put on hold when Meredith contracted COVID-19 and had to be admitted.

Familial[edit | edit source]

He has two sons, Liam and Austin, who are both teenagers. His father-in-law used to make him watch American football, which he never understood.[23] While some personal disagreements (i.e. regarding Western medicine) exist between them, he maintains a close relationship with his former sister-in-law, Irene Davis. She insisted on moving to Seattle when the COVID-19 pandemic hit so she could look after her nephews.

Professional[edit | edit source]

He knows and worked with Cristina Yang. She is responsible for him coming to work at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. He described her as being a nightmare to work with and that when they disagreed about a surgery and she turned out to be right she drove him mad and rubbed it in his face.[24] However, she clearly likes and respects him otherwise she wouldn't have sent him as a gift for Meredith.

Career[edit | edit source]

He is the Head of Pediatric Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Before taking the job there, he used to work at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • He speaks Italian.[25]
  • He loves soccer.[26]
  • His scrub cap is plain black.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

A more complete gallery with pictures of Cormac Hayes can be found here.

Notable Episodes[edit | edit source]

These episodes are Cormac-centric or are otherwise very informative about his life.

Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]


References[edit source]

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