Winston Ndugu is a cardiothoracic surgeon who trained under Maggie in Boston before she moved to Seattle. He is also her fiancé.

History[edit | edit source]

Work at Tufts[edit | edit source]

Winston worked under Maggie while he was a resident at Tufts. He had a crush on her from the first day of residency even though she was his chief. The fact that she was younger than him despite that even made him crush harder. He bided his time but she moved to Seattle in mid-2014, right before he became an attending, so he never got his shot to ask her out.[1]

Medical Conference[edit | edit source]

Six years later, for the third time in his life, Winston attended the Surgical Innovation Conference in Los Angeles. He spotted Maggie from across the room during heart valve happy hour and approached her. He admitted he had always been seeking her at earlier editions of the conference so he was glad to have finally seen her. He then told her about his crush and observed she wasn't wearing a wedding ring, so he hoped he would finally get his shot. They soon gave in to their mutual attraction and retreated to her room, where they had sex.

Winston and Maggie reconnect.

Afterward, they had a walk by the hotel pool. With only 36 more hours left for the conference, they set out to get to know each other better. They did a lightning round. She describe her perfect day to him, which sounded much like a romantic comedy. She then clarified she wanted to spend that day alone because she liked being alone, to a certain degree. He then started to describe his perfect day off, which started with morning sex with Maggie. They then kissed again. Maggie then asked him who his favorite person was. He told her about his mother, who had died two years earlier from ovarian cancer. Maggie related because of her own mother's death. Maggie then inquired if having med conference flings was his thing. He admitted he had hooked up at conferences before but he had never fallen this hard this fast for anyone. Maggie felt the same.

Back in bed once again, Winston recalled a time he scrubbed in with Maggie on a piggyback transplant. He was so nervous he was afraid he would drop the donor heart on the floor. Maggie told him she felt like that every time she saw him, except in the OR, where she is a hero. She said she was a neurotic mess in real life outside of the OR. Winston said he could not see that, which made her realize how much at ease she was around him. They were surprised by their alarm clocks. They had talked the entire night. As they got ready for the day, Maggie discovered he would be attending Richard's talk on his PATH pen later. She reminded him who Richard was. Winston thought it would be weird for him to meet Richard on what amounted to be their first date, but Maggie says the whole thing had been weird. Yet perfect, he added. Instead of getting ready, they ended up making out again.

Winston asks Maggie to move to Boston.

They had breakfast separately but he found her right before Richard's talk. He asked her to move back to Boston with him. He saw how he flustered her so he offered to come to Seattle. He insisted that you can meet a person and just know they are the right person for you, and that was how he felt about her. After his mother's death, he had embraced "carpe diem" as his motto. He and Maggie quoted their second favorite movie, Dead Poet's Society, once again showing how well they matched. Maggie said she was a person who needed time to weigh and measure pros and cons before making decisions. He happily agreed to give her the time to do so but he knew his feelings about her wouldn't change. They then headed in for the talk, where Richard started showing symptoms of a severe condition. Winston saw how Maggie got on the stage to make Richard stop his talk and get him off the stage. Maggie walked with Richard on a gurney, past Winston.[2]

COVID-19 Pandemic[edit | edit source]

Following the conference, Winston returned to Boston and Maggie returned to Seattle, but the two continued their relationship long distance. They video chatted frequently, discussing the pandemic, their patients, the ways in which the virus was disproportionately affecting people of color, and shared how their families were doing. Maggie shared stories about her time spent with her nieces, nephews, and sisters and Winston shared stories about his grandmother and his coworkers.[3] After Maggie told him a story about how she had a picnic with Zola that turned into a sleepover on the laundry room floor, Winston bought her a tent and had it shipped to Meredith's house in Seattle. He arranged with Amelia and Link for it to be set up in the backyard as a surprise for Maggie.[4]

When Meredith contracted COVID-19, Maggie shared her fears with Winston and he comforted her. During this time, Winston invited Maggie to a virtual family dinner for his grandmother's birthday, which Maggie accepted. The dinner was going well until Winston's father joined the call and proceeded to mock and insult Winston and his intelligence. Winston and his father argued as a result, which ended in Winston leaving the call, leaving Maggie to make awkward small talk with his family. Winston later called Maggie to talk about it, telling her that his Dad makes him crazy and that he seems charming, but he has a temper. To make it up to her, Winston arranged for the two of them to watch the movie Coming to America over video chat.[5]

When Meredith woke up after being unconscious for eight days, Maggie shared the good news with Winston over FaceTime. Winston told her he was happy to hear that, but ended the call quickly, saying he was in his car at a grocery store parking lot and needed to go buy eggs, leaving Maggie upset and confused. Later that night, Maggie was alone in her hotel room when someone knocked on the door. She opened it to find Winston, who had brought her flowers from the grocery store. He told her that the long distance thing wasn't working for him anymore and they embraced.[6]

The following day he and Maggie ordered room service for breakfast and enjoyed the morning together until Jackson knocked on their door and told Maggie that she was needed at home. Winston, Maggie, and Jackson went to Meredith’s house and after confirming that they’d all been tested recently Link invited them in. Maggie went to talk to Amelia about how to tell the kids about Meredith and Winston joined Link and Jackson in the back for beers. Link paced around the backyard holding Scout who he told them would start crying if he stopped moving while talking about Meredith’s worsening condition and the impact her death would have on the kids, Amelia, and his life in general. Realizing what he just said Link felt guilty, but Winston and Jackson reassured him that it was okay and that they all want Meredith to live and not all of the reasons for that have to be selfless. Winston reassured him by telling him that all they can do is keep moving physically and metaphorically. Link commented that Winston was good at reassuring people considering they just met. He then thanked Jackson for getting Maggie to the house even though he knew it was probably awkward and Winston suddenly realized that Jackson was Maggie's ex.[7]

Supporting Maggie & Treating Byron Gibbis[edit | edit source]

After the unexpected death of Andrew DeLuca, Winston comforted Maggie and did his best to support her, Amelia, and Link. While spending time with Meredith's kids, Winston volunteered to take Maggie's place when Zola told her it was her turn to dance with them and she was unable to do so because of her grief. He offered to show the kids some East Coast dance moves and they gladly accepted. Later that day, Maggie gave Winston hospital privileges and they worked together to treat Byron Gibbis, who was admitted after being found passed out on his front porch. After examining him, Winston diagnosed him with endocarditis, but they couldn't figure out the underlying cause until they took him for a CT scan and Winston asked him if he'd had trouble with his teeth. He said he'd picked a popcorn kernel out with his teeth with a paper clip and had sore gums, but had refused to leave his house to go to the dentist. They were about to begin Gibbis's surgery when he got scared and ran out of the OR naked. Winston and Maggie tracked him down with some help from Zander Perez and Maggie managed to calm him down and convince him to have the surgery. They helped him back to the OR and the surgery went ahead as planned. He later accompanied Maggie to the outdoor memorial that was held for Andrew.[8]

Working in Seattle & Proposing to Maggie[edit | edit source]

After Maggie gave him privileges, Winston continued to work with her to treat COVID patients at the hospital. They spent time together listening to playlists he created by sharing earbuds. Then the time came for him to go back to Boston as the city had experienced another surge and cases were climbing there and he was needed back at Tufts. Maggie didn't want him to go. The two of them sharing ear buds gave Maggie an idea about how to increase ventilator capacity by having patients share a ventilator by splitting the tube in two and filtering the air to avoid contamination. At the end of their shift, Maggie told Winston her job finally felt fun again and that she knew he was needed back in Boston but that she didn't want to be without him. While Maggie tried to ask him to stay, Winston told her he wanted them to listen to one last song before he left and opened his earbud case to reveal a ring. Winston proposed to Maggie and told her she had an out if she wanted one. Maggie accepted his proposal and they kissed.[9]

Personality[edit | edit source]

After his mother's death, he adapted a "carpe diem" mentality. He is a charming and humorous man. He likes to dance and has been shown to be good with kids.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Romantic[edit | edit source]

Winston had a crush on his superior, Maggie Pierce, starting the first day of his residency training under her. He bided his time to ask her out on a date, but she left Boston right before he became an attending. When they met up at a conference after not seeing each other since she moved to Seattle, Winston and Maggie hooked up in his hotel room. After that night together, he suggested that she move back to Boston or offered to move to Seattle so they could be together. When she said she needed time to make big decisions like that, he said she should take the time she needed and assured her the way he felt wouldn't change.[10] Following the conference, Winston returned to Boston and Maggie returned to Seattle, but the two continued their relationship long distance.[11] They video chatted frequently, but eventually Winston grew tired of the long distance and came to Seattle to be with Maggie.[12] He later proposed to her and they are now engaged.[13]

Familial[edit | edit source]

He says his mom was his favorite person in the world. She was his protector. She died of ovarian cancer two years before he reunited with Maggie. While describing his mother's protective side, he mentioned that his mother wouldn't let his father mess with him, indicating they have a strained relationship[14] which was confirmed when Maggie attended a virtual dinner party for his grandmother's birthday and the two argued, resulting in Winston leaving the call early.[15] Winston is very close to his grandmother Antoinette.[16]

Career[edit | edit source]

He is an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He trained under Maggie Pierce when she worked there.[17] After he came to Seattle to visit Maggie she granted him privileges at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. He took a leave of absence in order to visit her.[18]

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • He's older than Maggie, but was also her student, which only made him crush on her harder.[19]
  • His favorite movie is Ghostbusters.[20]
  • His second favorite movie is Dead Poets' Society.[21]
  • He's a fan of the movie Coming to America.[22]
  • He loves to make playlists.[23]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

A more complete gallery with pictures of Winston Ndugu can be found here.

Notable Episodes[edit | edit source]

These episodes are Winston-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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