‘Little House On The Prairie:’ Melissa Gilbert Said She Looked to Laura Ingalls For Inspiration While Recovering From Spinal Surgery

by Jennifer Shea
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert has had a rough few years. After she pulled out of her congressional race in Michigan due to back problems and doctors’ advice in 2016, she learned that the surgery she had then, to correct two herniated discs in her spine, didn’t take.

On social media, Gilbert shared that after her third spinal fusion surgery failed, and she needed to have another surgery, she turned to her “Little House on the Prairie” character Laura Ingalls for inspiration.

“I’m channeling my inner Halfpint for this one,” Gilbert wrote. “The one who believes anything is possible. The one with courage and moxie to spare!!”

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Said Her Recent Spinal Surgery Healed Well

Gilbert spoke to “Good Morning America” about the latest surgery in December of 2020. She had to fly from her home in New York to Newport Beach, California to get the surgery done in the midst of the pandemic.

“I feel really good,” the actress told “GMA” at the time. “It’s been almost three weeks since the surgery. And, yeah, I turned a bit of a corner this past weekend. You know, I kind of had achey soreness, and I woke up after a nice shoulder rub from my husband on Saturday. I woke up Sunday, and I had leapt forward in my recovery.”

“And that’s kind of what the doctor told me,” Gilbert added. “He said, you know, two weeks, and then four weeks, and then three months. And it has been really extraordinary, this process.”

Gilbert Says She Made the Right Choice in Going Public

The “Little House on the Prairie” star drew strength from the outpouring of support that she got on social media. Even more than that, however, she said, she had taken heart when she heard from people who had been in her position and knew what she was going through.

“What has really opened my eyes, and made me feel like I made the right choice in going public with all of this, is all of the people who are suffering from similar issues, and chronic pain issues, and spine issues who say, ‘I’m so glad to hear your story, it gives me hope.’ Or, ‘I’ve been through this and I’m on the other side of this, and it really is miraculous, and congratulations.’ So that’s been a real driver for me.”

Watch Gilbert’s full comments here: