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

by Clayton Edwards

Little House on the Prairie fans are very familiar with Melissa Gilbert. She was the star of the iconic show. Her character, Laura Ingalls, was the narrator whose books were the basis for the series. Gilbert was in more episodes than anyone else on the series during its original run. After Michael Landon’s death in 1991, Gilbert became the de facto face of the series.

At the same time, many fans of Little House have followed Melissa Gilbert’s career outside of the classic series. She has acted in as well as produced films. She has also competed on Dancing with the Stars. Gilbert has also written a few books.

However, those who do not follow her personal life may not know that Melissa Gilbert has undergone several spinal surgeries. Her first surgery was performed in 2003 to fix an injury she sustained in 1993. Her fourth and most recent was in November of 2020.

Melissa Gilbert discussed her history of spinal surgeries and how she looked to her Little House on the Prairie character for inspiration in a December 2020 appearance on Good Morning America.

Melissa Gilbert Channeled Laura Ingalls to Make It Through Recovery from Spinal Surgery

While introducing Melissa Gilbert as well as detailing her struggle with spinal issues, the GMA team shared one of Gilbert’s Instagram posts. In the photo, she is prepped for surgery. However, the caption is the important part of the post. Part of it reads, “I’m channeling my inner Halfpint for this one. The one who believes anything is possible. The one with courage and moxie to spare.”

During the interview, the GMA host asked Melissa Gilbert if she tapped into her former Little House on the Prairie character for the surgery and subsequent recovery. Gilbert told her, “I had to!”

She definitely needed her character’s moxie and spunk to get through the ordeal. To get the surgery, Melissa Gilbert had to fly from New York to California during the height of the pandemic. Then, she had to fly back three days after the operation. To make things even harder, she had to do it alone. Her husband was busy shooting a series for ABC in New York. So, he could not join her on the trip.

Melissa Gilbert said that she believes her fourth spinal surgery will be her last. During the operation, the surgeon removed all of the previous hardware from her spine. He then replaced it with an artificial disk. This revolutionary procedure, Gilbert said, should permanently fix her spinal issues.

Melissa Gilbert went on to say that it wasn’t just channeling her inner Halfpint that helped her through the ordeal. Gilbert said that her spirit was bolstered by her fans on social media. Many of her fans left comments or sent messages saying that they were praying for her or sending positive and healing energy. Other fans said that she was an inspiration to them because they were going through the same struggles. Meanwhile, other fans had been through the procedure and told her that it was life-changing.