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The Hope Charity Ball, an event designed to raise money for the hospital, was held at the country club. Much to Matt’s surprise, this year’s ball would be meant to honor him and his many years of dedication to the hospital. A variety of faces from Matt’s past would show up at the event, Rev. Samuel Shafer the former chaplain of the hospital, Dave Stewart, the son of Matt’s old colleague from medical school, and the wealthy Ebenezer Winthrop; a business mogul whose life Matt saved many years ago. The ball would have a variety of moments, from high drama to those of hope. Emerson and Mike made fools of themselves by having too much to drink. Mike publicly expressed his disproval of his father’s relationship with the much younger M.J. Match, while Emerson made his jealousy of Matt known to everybody. Despite the intensity of such moments, it would bring Matt much joy to deliver the grandchild of his very first patient, right there on the ballroom floor. Shortly after such a monumental event, Matt would come to realize that his services as a doctor were still needed, and he’d decide to not retire. Bill would shed his combative attitude towards Matt, and write a favorable article praising Matt’s years at Hope Memorial.
Elsewhere that night the infamous Ann Larimer would return to town, making a surprising visit to her ex-husband Steve. In the midst of pouring her heart out to him, Steve would shockingly regain consciousness! Jason and Erich would be rendered speechless upon seeing Steve awake. Soon news would spread of Steve’s awakening, and it’d reach the guests at the charity ball. Unfortunately for Tom, it’d interrupt his attempt to tell Carolee that he had fallen in love with her. Steve would share an emotional reunion with his family and friends, until one particular person would emerge from sidelines; Ann. When Steve wondered why Ann was not behind bars, soon the reason would come walking into his hospital room; a seven year old boy by the name of Jacob. “Steve, this is your son.” Ann would say to a shocked Steve. Carolee would reveal that she had not pressed charges against Ann because it’d leave the young boy parentless. Steve would try his best to grapple with such a fact.
Many other stories played out on the night of the ball; Althea was involved in a head on collision with Hope Memorial’s newest doctor, Dr. Oliver Mitchell, Emerson’s estranged son. Sumner Prescott was revealed to be once an apprentice of Mona Aldrich’s. Mona’s business rival, Ebenezer Winthrop, revealed that he was moving his company and family to Madison. Ebenezer was married to Penelope Winthrop, who often kept her husband and family grounded. The couple shared a daughter, named Julie, who was quite the spoiled brat. Ebenezer’s handsome and ambitious nephew, Logan, resided with them. Ebenezer constantly groomed the young man to take over the Winthrop Empire, while brushing aside his daughter’s desire to join the corporate world. A teenage Michael-Paul Powers became the object of affection for Julie, while he pinned after his long time friend Stephanie, who dated Logan.
Nurse Traci Bishop took in Carrie Ballard, a distressed prostitute who had been raped by the now deceased Fredrick Garland. Traci and Maggie helped Carrie find the strength to move on after the rape, while psychiatrist Gail Crawford helped the girl out psychologically. Traci wouldn’t take Carrie in out of sheer goodwill; she’d take the young woman in because she saw a bit of herself in Carrie. Taking Natalie aside in secret, Traci would admit that years ago while training to become a nurse; she too used to be a hooker. Traci would try to balance her attempt to turn Carrie’s life around with her blossoming friendship with Tom. Traci feared what would become of her friendship with Tom if he learned of her tawdry past.
When Louise became privy to the nightmares her husband Emmett was having, she’d schedule to have him see a therapist. However upon going to the first session, Emmett would chicken out and fib to his wife that he had seen a shrink about his problems.
Emerson would be stunned to learn that his son, Oliver, was now working at Hope Memorial. Charging into Matt’s office, Emerson would accuse the doctor of bringing their so called feud to an entirely new level. It would be then that a puzzled Matt would learn that Emerson was Oliver’s father, a fact that Matt that had been completely unaware of up until that moment. Calling Oliver into his office after Emerson stormed out, Matt would inquire why Oliver had kept such a secret from him. Oliver had not wished to make his father privy to the fact that he was in town, noting that he had no intentions of reconciling with him. Oliver simply cited his desire to work there at Hope Memorial without any interruption or distraction. When asked as to what was the source of this monumental rift between father and son, Oliver would strike an emotional chord with Matt by revealing that he held his father responsible for his mother’s suicide. In detail, Oliver would describe how his mentally ill mother unraveled day by day as Emerson focused heavily on his career as a doctor. One fateful day, Oliver’s mother would try to take her life by leaving the car on in the garage with a young Oliver in the backseat. Fortunately Emerson would arrive home early just in time to save his son, but it’d be too late for his wife. The story would nearly be similar to how Matt had lost his first wife, and how Mike came to resent him for her death. Matt would face the fact that possibly, he and Emerson weren’t so different after all.
As the month progressed, Mona schemed to get Ann out of town by offering the woman money to either leave town with her son, or leave Jacob behind in the care of the Aldrich’s. When Ann refused to accept such an offer, Mona tried to recruit Ann’s protective yet absent minded father, Ben, to convince Ann to leave town. Ben made his skepticisms known to his daughter about the Aldrich’s accepting Jacob as their own. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Luke urged his sister Nola to call Jason and tell him that Jessica had fallen ill. In the midst of celebrating his brother’s return, Jason would receive news of his daughter’s hospitalization and hightailed it straight to the city of brotherly love. Jason’s fiancé, Simone, fought off doubts that Jessica’s illness could bring Nola and Jason closer together.
Mona spoiled her grandson, Peter, with a brand new mustang. Derek fumed at the idea of his mother in-law turning his son into a spoiled brat, and both he and Cal protested the gift. Meanwhile the cracks in Derek and Cal’s marriage would begin to show when the couple went house hunting. Shortly before arriving in town, Derek protested the idea of moving to Madison, but due to Cal’s constant prodding and begging, he’d give in. Similar to then, Cal would behave the same way about picking which house they lived in and her behavior resembled that of a spoiled brat. With their marriage on the rocks, Cal fought off the affections of her son’s friend from boarding school, Royce Bryant. Confident and handsome, Royce saw his friend’s mother as a stunning display of beauty, and he seized every opportunity to make this known to her. With her marriage more troubled than before, how long would Cal be able to fend off Royce’s attraction to her?
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