‘9-1-1’ Creator Based Tragic Storyline Off of His Own Family’s Battle with Alzheimer’s

by Michael Freeman
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Many of the stories and subplots on shows like 9-1-1 hit close to home for viewers. However, one of the creators of the show revealed in an interview a character’s storyline is based on his own family’s battle with Alzheimer’s.

Tim Minear, one of the three creators of 9-1-1, spoke to Assignment X and fielded questions about the show. After being asked about his experiences in the genre, the outlet asked if Minear ever incorporated any of his own experiences into the show. Sadly, he confirmed he does.

“Yeah, actually. I’m actually dealing with Alzheimer’s in my life right now, and there were some scenes that I’d been writing between Abby and her mother [played by Mariette Hartley, whose character Patricia has Alzheimer’s] that, literally, the thing is happening to me the day I’m writing the scene. So I would say yeah.”

For reference, Patricia Clark in the show is Abigail Clark’s mother. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Patricia needed constant supervision. While Abigail worked, a carer supervised and looked after Patricia.

Though Minear spoke about the parallels between Patricia and what he’s enduring in his own life, it’s unclear how far this link goes. In the show, Patricia eventually passed away in her sleep from a pulmonary embolism. Sadly, Abigail discovered Patricia the morning after she died. Her mother’s tragic passing spurred Abigail to be more assertive. She soon booked a ticket to Ireland, something her mom had always wanted to do when she was alive.

One can only hope Minear didn’t experience something as painful as Abigail did in real life.

One of the Craziest ‘9-1-1’ Injuries and Recoveries Is Inspired by a Real Event

The storylines in 9-1-1 aren’t the only things based on actual happenings. In fact, one of the wildest injuries on the show was based on a real event.

In the same interview with Assignment X, Minear talked about a brain injury that happened on the show. Kenneth Choi, who plays a character named Chimney, experienced an automobile accident on the show. Upon crashing, a piece of rebar pierced Chimney’s head. Miraculously, Chimney recovered and was able to return to his job at the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Though it seems unreal Chimney came back from something so devastating, Minear says it was inspired by something that happened in South America. “As a matter of fact, when we produced that story, there was a guy in South America, a piece of rebar actually fell from a great height, but it went through his skull in exactly the same way that we put it through Chimney’s skull.”

Minear also elaborated about Chimney’s recovery. He states “it didn’t go through any part of his brain that affected speech or cognitive function.”

Outsider.com