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Voltaire said that the art of medicine is amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. So according to one of the greatest French philosophers of all time, surgeons aren't really helpers. We're more like circus clowns. But help comes in many forms. And something tells me Voltaire never held an aorta while a patient's entire blood volume pulsated between his fingers. Help comes in many forms. A kidney. A kind gesture. A friend to light your way. And still, too often, we insist on doing it ourselves. We're afraid of looking weak, of not being tough. Truth is we're all capable of walking through the world by ourselves. But most of the time, life is better with company.

Help, I'm Alive is the tenth episode of the fifteenth season and the 327th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Meredith questions Link's laid-back approach over a patient's treatment. Maggie worries that Richard, Jackson, and Catherine haven't come to terms with Catherine's diagnosis. Meanwhile, DeLuca steps up in the O.R. when Owen faces a setback.

Full Summary[]

Meredith is operating with Andrew assisting her. He watches her face.

Amelia and Tom are studying Catherine's scans. Amelia is amazed. Tom is going to need her help.

Bailey is seeing her therapist. She feels like she has made progress, because she now notices when she's pulling her fingers. She's been doing her exercises. The therapist warns her not to rush it. Bailey then tells the therapist she has a bit of yogurt on her chin, but she didn't mention it until now. So, progress.

At an AA meeting, Richard has told his baseball story to another attendee. He adds that his wife has gotten a terrible diagnosis. The man knows Richard's sponsor died and offers to be his new one. The first step is starting with prayer and meditation again.

Richard sits down on the grass in the park, but he can't seem to get comfortable.

Teddy catches up with Bailey, who asks if she's living here now. Teddy tells her she's pregnant with Owen's baby and he's back with Amelia, whose sisters have issues with her. Still, she needs a job here. She needs to be occupied with work. Bailey says she'll have to say all that again to Alex Karev.

Alex writes his name to the board, which Meredith dislikes, since he was going to help her out with Bailey's superhero birthday party. Teddy comes up and asks Alex to walk with her. As the two walk off, Catherine comes up. Meredith asks her how she's doing, but Catherine is furious because she told everyone about the tumor. Catherine fires Meredith from her team and warns her to stay out of her sight until her fury has passed if she values her job.

Maggie arrives at the hospital after Cece's funeral. There were a lot of single clients of hers, so there might be hook-ups tonight. Jackson and his mother had dinner last night and they are all doing a pelvic exenteration that spares the uterus today. Richard and Catherine take Jackson with them to the patient.

Meredith runs out into the ambulance bay, where a laid-back Link is eating potato chips. She thinks he'd wait less casually. Jo joins them and Meredith deems her waiting technique appropriate. Link think there's no point in stressing out until you have to. As soon as the ambulance arrives, Link stands up straight.

Teddy finds Owen, whom she says looks awful. He insists he's fine. He notices she's in scrubs. Alex made her audition for Pierce, which is enraging. Owen finds it ironic that he's once again finding out about something after it's done. Teddy reminds him she upended her whole life so he could be a part of their baby's. Owen says he and Amelia weren't back together when she came back, so if she had talked to him instead of deciding after one quick look, she would have known. Instead, she waited five weeks and now he's in this crap situation. Amelia has overheard them and says she's had a lot of nicknames, but crap situation is her new favorite. Owen runs after her to clear things up and Teddy walks up to Maggie to talk about the job.

Jo, Meredith, Link, and Casey are working on Natasha, who fell from a hotel balcony. Link asks for an X-ray to make sure the pelvis is stable. The patient's fiancé comes in. They are getting married tomorrow and Natasha didn't want him to see her until the wedding, so she got her own hotel room. Link assures Garrett that they are taking good care of her.

Owen is explaining to Amelia that he and Teddy were just fighting. Amelia says couples do that. Owen says he and Teddy are not a couple. Tom thinks it's time for Owen to go since they need to focus. Also, he might make them sick. Amelia agrees they need to focus. Tom checks if Teddy is the tall blonde.

Taryn presents the case of Uma Paxton, the pelvic exenteration patient. Catherine tells her they are preserving the uterus. She developed the technique herself. Jackson, Richard, and Catherine all have their specific parts of the surgery. Uma didn't think she wanted kids until she heard she might not be able to have any. Catherine checks if Uma's sure she is alright with other doctors watching from the gallery. Uma consents, because Catherine is a pioneer and people need to be taught so other women can be helped, too.

Andrew briefs Owen on the ER patient. Most patients have flu-like symptoms, including Owen himself. Owen asks Andrew to prepare him an IV with Zofran and follows Levi outside for an incoming trauma.

Maggie is talking to Teddy about the department. She mentions they do meeting in conference rooms instead of the lecture room. Teddy says she made that happen to get a more honest and open exchange. Maggie finds that ironic. She thinks Teddy told Owen and Amelia too late. Teddy asks if they are going to be able to work together. Maggie acknowledges she has done great work and she will shove aside her personal contempt.

Owen, Andrew, and Levi are examining Claire Conway, who collapsed in a store. Her two boys start fighting. They are causing her a lot of stress on top of the flu she appears to be having. Owen asks the boys to stop fighting. Andrew wants a CT, but Claire objects. It's just a flu and she took leftover antibiotics from last year. The doctors tell her that's a bad idea. It might just be the flu, but if it isn't, she'll really wish she had stayed. She consents.

Nico joins Natasha's case and diagnoses a windswept pelvis based on the X-rays. Meredith finds free fluid in the abdomen and pelvis. The doctors agree to take her to an OR and do a CT there. Jo thinks they need to stabilize her pelvis first. Meredith agrees, but Link insists they don't need to.

Meredith joins Jo in the scrub room. She wonders why Jo ever thought she and Link would be good together. Jo says he's the nicest person she ever met before Alex and Meredith is the same for Alex, so that's why. She assures Meredith that Link is a great guy once you get to know him. An out-of-breath Link comes in. He ran up the stairs to get his blood flowing. He's ready to save Natasha, especially because she's about to get married. Meredith says they have to save everyone, including sad and lonely ones. She enters the OR, leaving Link to ask Jo why she ever advised him to ask Meredith out.

Levi, Andrew, and Owen are waiting for Claire's scans. They tell her to relax. She hasn't relaxed for two years, since she became her nephews' mother when her sister died. The scans reveal a toxic megacolon, meaning they have to get her up to the OR right away.

Tom and Amelia are practicing using VR headsets. Whatever the approach they try, it doesn't work. Amelia gets paged for a consult in the OR so she leaves. He hopes she returns with some more positivity.

Bailey and Maggie sit down in the gallery. Catherine told Bailey she fears this might be her last surgery, so she wanted to go out with a bang. Maggie is not sure this is a good idea since Catherine's symptomatic. Bailey thinks Catherine's going to make her mark. And she has a capable team. The full gallery makes Taryn nervous. Catherine makes the first incision.

Amelia finds that Natasha has no indication for brain surgery, but she will monitor her brain injury in post-op. Meredith has removed the spleen. They have gone through 11 units already. Meredith thinks they would have gone through fewer units had they stabilized Natasha in the ER. Meredith questions how Link became a doctor. Jo says he did because he got cancer. Link says that's not her story to tell. He then finds the source of the bleeding. He teaches Casey to pack below the pelvic brim, which is where you find nasty vascular variants such as the crown of death. He had a hunch when he saw the X-ray and the pelvic binder could have made it worse. Meredith wonders why he couldn't have just told her that. He didn't realize convincing her that he belongs here is part of his job.

Natasha thought the antibiotics would help her, but Owen says they only killed the good bacteria in her intestine. But they caught it in time. Claire says those boys can't lose another parent and suddenly screams in pain, indicating a ruptured bowel. She moves a lot due to the pain, so Owen orders propofol and sux. In the rush, the anesthesiologist accidentally injects the meds into Owen's I.V. Owen warns everybody that he will be paralyzed in 30 seconds and instructs someone to intubate him.

Andrew has started Natasha's surgery while keeping an eye on Levi, who's intubating Owen. Levi successfully intubates and takes Owen upstairs.

Meredith and her team explain to Garrett that they put Natasha in a medically-induced coma to allow her body to heal. The severe stress on her body and the transfusions make for an unpredictable outcome. Garrett doesn't know what to do. Natasha was going to wear a blue dress for their wedding. Their sleeping apart was supposed to bring them good luck. He doesn't want to live without Natasha now that he knows what his life is like with her in it. He begs her to wake up.

Jo walks up to Alex. She's glad the two of them are alive. She thanks him for marrying her. He leaves for a surgery. Jo then hears Amelia and Tom arguing. Amelia is on the brink of giving up because there is no way of properly visualizing the tumor. Jo, having appeared in the doorway, says there is an option. There is a new way that's about to be launched at UCSD. She digs into the case while Tom marvels over her beauty and miracle solution.

Levi has had Owen admitted to the ICU. Teddy walks by and seeing him hooked up to a respirator gives her a scare. Levi explains what happened. Levi promises to watch him closely but, respectfully, Teddy says, she's not going anywhere. Levi loves that someone used "respectfully" while addressing him.

Link catches the end of Meredith's phone call. Hulk cancelled for her son's superhero birthday party. Link says it's The Hulk. He offers to help. He could use a party after the day they've had. She gladly accepts.

Catherine finds that Uma's tissue is too friable. She needs time to think.

Bailey says Catherine is incredible. Maggie agrees if she means that Catherine possesses an insane level of stubbornness. She's only out-stubborned by the two people operating with her. Maggie's trying to express her feelings more. Jackson asked her to, but now neither him, nor Jackson are sharing with her. Her mother did the same thing for her, but it only made for time that they lost. They could have that time if they just talked. You can waste a lot of time by waiting for the right moment. Bailey thinks the storm's gonna come when it comes. She's trying to let go of wanting to control things she can't control.

Down in the OR, Catherine has sweat wiped from her face. Jackson knows she's in pain and offers to take over. Catherine admits she is, because Uma will wake up without a uterus. It's too friable due to the radiation, so she can't separate it properly without compromising the blood supply. No one can fix this. She decides to take out the uterus. She asks the others to close up and walks out.

Alex is checking in on Andrew, who has performed a subtotal colectomy with an ileostomy. He stepped up. Alex tells him he did a great job.

Owen wakes up with Teddy by his side. Levi tells him that Andrew performed the surgery. Teddy tells Levi he can go. Levi wants to tell her that everyone calls him Glasses, but then decides to go with Dr. Schmitt. He leaves. Teddy tells Owen that her first day with Pierce wasn't all that. He figured. Teddy says she did not set out to hurt Amelia. She admits she made mistakes, but he showed up in Germany and then came back here and started a family. He should stop making everything her fault. Landstuhl was perfect for her. They haven't filled her position and the maternity leave in Germany is generous. She has a hard time wanting to stay here when she has to answer to a hateful 20-something while Owen doesn't have to sacrifice a thing. She suggests Owen move back to Germany with her. He tells her she can have his job. He admits she sacrificed a lot and now it's his turn. They hug.

Levi makes Nico follow him into an on-call room. He passionately kisses Nico. He saved Owen's life. He wasn't Glasses or clumsy. He feels like a different person. He thinks Nico's rubbing off on him. Nico thinks this has always been him, but he just didn't know it. They continue to kiss.

Meredith and Link have managed to prepare her house in time for the party. He's happy to help since she seemed stressed. He believes in stress, but he does not believe in letting it run your life. It's because he lost half of his hospital friends to the cancer he survived and because his parents split up over the cancer. Meredith admits she was an ass to him all day. Link agrees, but he likes the chase. The nanny then arrives with the kids. Meredith hugs the birthday boy. Bailey asks Link if he's Thor. He plays along.

Richard and Jackson find Catherine in a lounge. They closed Uma, who's in recovery. Catherine is livid. Jackson doubted her capabilities in surgery. Jackson throws the fact that she hid her cancer in her face. She wasn't ready to bring anyone into it. Jackson and Richard point out she told Meredith and Tom. Richard is offensive. Catherine snaps that she can't lean on Richard when he's swinging baseball bats in bars. Richard says they are not talking about that right now.

Maggie is listening in from the other side of the door. Bailey wants to go in, but Maggie stops her. The big storm is happening.

Richard enlightens Jackson about the bar situation. Catherine says she wasn't wrong in not telling them. Jackson points out she just can't help but control everyone around her. She points out that the minute she stops doing that, her husband gets an arrest record. They say they can handle bad news. They are her family. Catherine thinks they would have driven her crazy by ordering every test possible. She brings up Thomas, which brings out Richard's jealous side. She doesn't like it. He doesn't like her lying either. She forbids him from talking to her like that with everything that she's going through. She's playing the cancer card. Talking to both of them about her cancer makes it true. She breaks down and they comfort her.

Owen explains to Claire what happened. Her boys apologize for fighting. Claire tells them to get themselves some pizza. She can't believe they almost died. She thanks Andrew and Owen for saving her life and making her stay, respectively.

Garrett is talking to Natasha. Her blue dress is hanging in the corner. Alex joins Jo outside the room.

Catherine is sitting with Uma, who falls apart upon learning what happened. Catherine holds her hand.

Owen catches up with Amelia on her way out. He tells her he gave Teddy his job because he wants her to stay here. It's the truth and he has to be able to tell Amelia the truth. The only thing he knows for sure is that he's having a baby with Teddy and that he has a real family with Amelia. He doesn't want to do any of it without her. He doesn't need time. He needs her. She asks what took him so long. He says he was literally paralyzed. They leave together.

Teddy's rubbing her feet in a lounge. Tom walks in with a plate of fries. He guesses she's about 16 weeks. He introduces himself, but she's distracted by the smell of those fries. They introduce themselves to one another. Since she has feet all over her hands, he starts feeding her fries.

Levi is struggling to put in contacts. Casey is observing him. Taryn comes in and asks what's going on. Levi wants to look as different as he feels. Taryn offers to do it for him, which he accepts.

Meredith sits down with Link at the party. He takes back what he said about her being stressed. Three kids is no joke and she runs a department while winning awards. Over wine and cake, Link says that Meredith likes him. She admits she doesn't dislike him, which is a vast improvement from this morning. Meredith gets a text, but she ignores it. She has figured out why he runs so much. He eats a lot of junk food. He says that's a perk of being a cancer kid: he gets to eat what he wants. As she laughs and talks with Link, her phone lights up, revealing a text from Andrew asking her to come celebrate his flying solo.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Uma Paxton[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Recurrent vaginal tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Pelvic exenteration with flap reconstruction

Uma, 25, had a recurrent vaginal tumor, which had previously been treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Catherine planned to save Uma's uterus through a new technique of her creation, wherein she would remove the tumor and everything else required except her uterus. Jackson would then reconstruct her abdomen. However, in surgery, Catherine discovered that the tissue was too friable and she was forced to remove Uma's uterus.

Owen Hunt[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Influenza
  • Treatment:
    • Lactated ringers
    • Zofran

Owen had flu symptoms, so he had himself hooked up to an IV. When he went to operate on a patient, he was accidentally injected with a paralytic and collapsed in the OR. Levi intubated him and moved him out of the OR and into a room, where he monitored him and gave him fluids. He was later extubated.

Natasha Deon[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken pelvis
    • Windswept pelvis
    • Internal bleeding
    • Sacral fracture
  • Treatment:
    • Splenectomy
    • External fixation

Natasha came into the ER after falling three floors from a hotel balcony. Her pelvis was broken, but Link said it felt stable. X-rays showed a windswept pelvic. They took her to the OR, where Amelia saw a possible anoxic brain injury and ordered post-op observation. Meredith removed her spleen. After her surgery, she was in a medically-induced coma and had external fixation on her pelvis.

Claire Conway[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Toxic megacolon
  • Treatment:
    • Subtotal colectomy

Claire collapsed at a convenience store. She said she had stomach pain and that she had taken leftover antibiotics for the flu. They did a CT, which showed toxic megacolon. They rushed her to the OR to operate before her bowel ruptured. Once in the OR, she was in extreme pain due to her colon rupturing. She was quickly sedated for surgery. Andrew then operated to remove a portion of her colon. She was stable and awake afterward.


Song Performer Scene
"Don't Know Who I Am" Rebecca Roubion
  • Andrew and Meredith operate together.
  • Amelia and Tom look at Catherine's scans and he says he needs her help.
  • Bailey talks to her therapist about pulling her fingers. The therapist tells her not to rush it.
  • Richard talks to another member of AA about his arrest and his wife's cancer. He offers to take over as Richard's sponsor.
  • Richard struggles as he sits by a tree.
"Scared to Love" Aron Wright
  • Catherine, Richard, and Jackson continue operating.
  • Maggie and Bailey watch from the gallery and talk about Catherine's skill and Jackson.
  • Maggie wants them to get along again so they can get as much time as possible with Catherine.
  • Jackson offers to take over for his mother. She says she's upset because she won't be able to save the uterus, so she removes it and tells them to close as she leaves.
"Keep My Fire Burning" Waldeck
  • Schmitt goes to the desk next to Nico and propositions him silently. Nico follows him into the room.
  • They start making out and Schmitt tells Nico about doing so well with Owen's case.
  • Nico says he's always been good.
"Hold Your Breath" Ruelle
  • Claire thanks Andrew.
  • Garrett watches Natasha as Jo and Alex watch.
  • Catherine tells Uma the bad news.
  • Owen finds Amelia as she leaves the hospital. He tells her Teddy is staying.
  • He says he wants to be with her and he misses her.
  • As they leave, he starts to tell her about his day.
"Empress" Snow Patrol
  • Tom feeds Teddy french fries.
  • Schmitt puts in contacts as Casey and Taryn watch. He's doing it because he wants to look as different as he feels.
  • Taryn steps in to do it for him.
  • Meredith and Link talk at the party. Link understands why she's so stressed.
  • They talk about Meredith liking him.
  • Link eats more cake and says a perk of being a cancer kid is that he can eat whatever he wants and no one can stop him.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 15x10 Promo "Help, I’m Alive" (HD) Season 15 Episode 10 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Help, I'm Alive, originally sung by Metric.
  • This episode scored 6.98 million viewers.
  • There are no official promotional stills for this episode.
  • Derek Bailey Shepherd turns five in this episode. If the show were to consider the concept of time, that would mean the episode takes place in mid-2018 given the fact that his time of birth was in early May 2013. However, the dates provided by Teddy surrounding her pregnancy indicate that the episode takes place in late 2018.
  • In the scene where Amelia and Tom are trying to remove a tumor, Microsoft HoloLens is used as medical equipment.


See Also[]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.