In Carol’s Second Act, premiering Thursday, Sept, 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton returns to CBS — home to her hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond — now playing a 50-year-old divorced mother and retired teacher who pursues her lifelong dream of being a doctor. But when Heaton was facing her own medical challenge, she looked to a Higher Power.
Asked about her own hospital experience at the recent TV Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California, Heaton recalled:
When I had my first child, it was ‑‑ I tried to do the whole “we’re going to do natural birth,” but I’m Irish Catholic, and we really believe in better living through chemistry. So I got that epidural right away, but I couldn’t get the baby out.
He was almost 10 pounds, so we had a C‑section, and they had to strap me down, and my arms were strapped down, and they cut me open, and they pulled Sam out, and everyone rushed to the end of the room, including my husband, to ooh and ahh over the baby, and I was still strapped down. The morphine was wearing off, and my jaw was starting to shake from the morphine wearing off.
And it was at a Catholic hospital, and I looked up, and there’s Jesus on the wall behind me with his arms out. I was like, “At least you know what I’m feeling right now!” So that was the older, wiser person that I saw at the hospital.
Heaton, a Catholic, is outspoken on Twitter and elsewhere about her faith and her pro-life views. While she describes herself as “judicious” about what she says, she has no plans to stop.
At the end of the day, you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, “I stood up for the voiceless and for the poor and the hungry.”
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Manager at Family Theater Productions.