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

History[]

Work at Tufts[]

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 only 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 a chance to ask her out.[1]

Medical Conference[]

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 looked for her at earlier editions of the conference and was glad to have finally seen her there. He then told her about his crush, observed she wasn't wearing a wedding ring, and said he hoped he would finally be able take his shot and ask her out. 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 described 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 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 way.

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 and she reminded him who Richard was. Winston thought it would be weird for him to meet Richard on what amounted to their first date, but Maggie said 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 flustered she was, so he offered to move 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 are. 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 said he knew his feelings about her wouldn't change. They then headed in for the talk, where Richard started showing signs of being unwell. Winston watched from the audience as Maggie got on stage to make Richard stop his talk and get him off the stage. Maggie then walked with Richard on a gurney, past Winston, as they left the conference.[2]

COVID-19 Pandemic[]

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[]

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[]

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]

Moving to Seattle[]

After Maggie accepted his proposal, Winston travelled back to Boston to tie up lose ends. When he was done, he packed up all of his things and drove back to Seattle. He and Maggie texted and video called frequently during this time and he found an apartment that he wanted Maggie to look at. Maggie took a bit to get back to him and when she did she told him she wasn't a fan of the listing. He told her the landlord of the apartment had called previously to inform him he needed a decision today so he told the landlord he would take it as he needed a better option than a hotel or tent in the backyard. He had been driving for three days and had just left a gas station when he was pulled over by the police while he was on the phone with Maggie. Winston assumed a safe position with his hands on the steering wheel and his license and registration in his hand as a sheriff walked up to this window while his partner circled the car with a drug-sniffing dog. Winston asked him why he was pulled over and upon hearing Maggie's worried voice through the phone, the sheriff checking Winston's license demanded that he turn off his phone. Winston cautiously told him his fiancée was worried but ultimately complied, fearing for his life. Maggie then attempted to call him multiple times with no response. When Maggie got called back into a trauma when her patient, Guy Houston, went into V-fib again, she handed her phone to intern Sara Ortiz, explained the situation, and told her to keep calling Winston until he picked up.[10]

When Guy needed surgery, Maggie paged Richard and explained the situation and that she hadn't been able to reach Winston for the last 20 minutes. Richard asked for her phone and told her to focus on her patient and that he'd keep calling and if there a wasn't response in a little while, he would go looking for Winston himself. Maggie had just finished moving a catheter into place when Winston called back. Richard let her know and Owen said he'd finish up so that she could talk to Winston. Winston told her he was fine, but that the police made him do a DUI test, had the police dog sniff him and his car, and then unpacked and ransacked all of his stuff, which was now strewn about the side of the road and then had the dog sniff all of that on the grounds that his bike rack was obscuring his license plate. Winston was shaken up and traumatized, but was relieved to have made it out alive. He told Maggie he wasn't good to drive yet and that he needed a moment to catch his breath, so Maggie stayed on the phone with him. Eventually, he got back on the road after talking to Maggie and a couple of hours later arrived at Meredith's house. Maggie and Amelia were waiting on the porch for him. When he arrived, Maggie ran over and embraced him and he told her he thought only about surviving to get back to her. In response, Maggie kissed him.[11]

Joining Grey Sloan Memorial[]

Following his move to Seattle, Winston joined the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial as an attending and worked with Teddy on Meredith’s case. Her labs showed elevated liver enzymes, so they did a CT of her chest and abdomen. After discovering a clot in her liver Winston declined to do the necessary TIPS procedure because Meredith was his future sister-in-law and said Teddy should do it instead. Teddy prepared to do the procedure herself, but then changed her mind after talking to Owen and had him page Winston to assist. The procedure was successful, but Meredith still wasn’t able to stay awake, so Winston suggested to Richard that they bring Zola to visit her mom because he thought that hearing and feeling her daughter next to her might help. At first Maggie refused to bring her, but after Zola overheard her talking and said she wanted to go Maggie brought her to the hospital. After putting her in PPE Winston, Maggie, and Richard walked Zola to Meredith’s room and waited outside to see if it would help. At first there was no change, but then Meredith woke up and started talking to Zola. Seeing this Winston celebrated with Maggie, Richard, Amelia, Bailey, and Teddy.[12]

In the weeks that followed Winston worked with Maggie, Teddy, Owen, and Link to treat COVID patients. After getting engaged Winston and Maggie asked Richard to officiate their wedding and he gladly accepted saying it would be the honor of his life.[13] Following their engagement, Winston and Maggie began wedding planning. They got into a disagreement when Maggie told him she wanted everything to feel right instead of a compromise and suggested they wait until things open up a bit more. Winston became upset because he thought she was all in and that she was getting cold feet. Three weeks later, Maggie met Winston in the hospital parking lot and told him that none of his ideas were perfect and that she had finally figured out what had been bothering her. She realized that perfect was never going to be an option because her mother wouldn’t be there and the feeling that something was wrong never had anything to do with him. She just wished her mother could have met him. Winston told her he missed his own mom as well, that his mom taught him how to dance, and would’ve torn up the dance floor at their wedding. Maggie then suggested they take the engagement ring that her mother gave her and turn it into her wedding band and that she didn’t want to wait to have the wedding. That they should get her dad and his grandmother to Seattle as soon as possible and just do the wedding with family and then have a big party when it's safe to do so. Winston told her he was good with that idea and Maggie said she was relieved before turning towards a parked car and revealing that she had flown her dad Bill and Winston’s grandmother Antoinette out for the wedding. They wanted to hug them, but couldn’t until they had quarantined for 10 days. None the less they were delighted to see each other.[14]

Marrying Maggie[]

In August 2020, Winston and Maggie attempted to get married at a small ceremony in Meredith's backyard with Antoinette, Bill, Catherine, Link, and Meredith and her kids in attendance. However, when Richard asked if anyone objected to the union Antoinette and Bill stood up and said that they did because they both thought that the couple deserved a bigger ceremony than this and that it wasn't right to do it this way because Amelia wasn't there, having been called into work at the last minute for an emergent patient, and Maggie had uncles, aunts, and cousins who weren't there. Bill said he had a savings account to do this the right way and that's what they wanted for them. Maggie told them they couldn't do it the proper way because it wasn't safe. Bill suggested that they wait as they were already living together so they couldn't be in that much of a hurry. Winston and Maggie then agreed to postpone the wedding. In April 2021, when it was safe to do so Winston and Maggie got married at the beach with all of their friends and family that they wanted in attendance. They had Meredith walk down the aisle with her kids and spread flower petals at the start of the ceremony then Bill walked Maggie down the aisle. This time no one objected and the wedding went ahead as planned. While Meredith and Teddy had to leave early to perform a lung transplant on one of their patients, everyone else stayed and enjoyed the reception and dancing with Winston and Maggie.[15]

Personality[]

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[]

Romantic[]

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, they hooked up in his hotel room. After spending the 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.[16] Following the conference, Winston returned to Boston and Maggie returned to Seattle, but the two continued their relationship long distance.[17] They video chatted frequently, but eventually Winston grew tired of the long distance and came to Seattle to be with Maggie.[18] He later proposed to her and they are now married.[19]

Familial[]

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[20] 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.[21] Winston is very close to his grandmother Antoinette.[22]

Career[]

He is an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. He trained under Maggie Pierce at Tufts Medical Center. While she moved to Seattle, he stayed on staff there as an attending. He took a leave of absence and was granted privileges at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital when he visited Maggie there.[23] He quit his job at Tufts when he decided to move to Seattle permanently and joined the staff at Grey Sloan Memorial full time, signing a five-year contract.[24][25]

Notes and Trivia[]

  • He's older than Maggie, but was also her student, which only made him crush on her harder.[26]
  • His favorite movie is Ghostbusters.[27]
  • His second favorite movie is Dead Poets' Society.[28]
  • He's a fan of the movie Coming to America.[29]
  • He loves to make playlists.[30]

Gallery[]

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

Notable Episodes[]

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

Memorable Quotes[]

Appearances[]



References[]

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