Family Ties

Season 7 Episode 6

Heartstrings (2)

Aired Unknown Dec 11, 1988 on NBC

Episode Recap

When Steven's surgery extends beyond the expected five hours, tension in the waiting room increases. A nervous Alex, however, begins to express acute concern only for himself fearing that he has inherited a weak heart, he searches in vain for his pulse. Lauren soon makes Alex realize that he is fixated on his own health to block the anguish he really feels for his father. While the Keatons wait, they receive hope and encouragement from Mrs. Hobart and Mr. Meyers, whose spouses are also undergoing surgery.

Everyone's spirits are lifted when Mr. Meyers is joyfully reunited with his wife. But shortly afterward, their happiness turns to grief when it is learned that Mrs. Hobart's husband, who had actually been in recovery, has suddenly died. As the Keatons search for a way to comfort her, they become even more anxious about Steven. When Elyse begins to panic, Alex finally realizes that he must be especially strong for his mother's sake.

At last, the doctor's assistant Peggy appears with news of Steven's condition. She explains that the procedure is taking longer than expected because Dr. Harrison has determined that Steven needs a quadruple bypass operation. As Nick tries to rally the family's spirits, Dr. Harrison works desperately to save Steven's life.