A couple of weeks before my last surgery in August my mom told me she had been contacted by a publicist asking if our family would be interested in sharing our story. They knew Dr. Azizzadeh had done my facial nerve reanimation surgery and wanted us to appear on the TV show, The Doctors.
I have always wanted to be on TV, so we talked about it at dinner that night and we decided that my mom would call them back and let them know we would do it!
The producer came to my house and filmed us doing things around the house and interviewed all of us. There was a whole film crew there the day of my surgery, wearing scrubs and masks and went right into the operating room and filmed my surgery.
The minute I found out about this whole thing all I could think about was the third part of the filming, when I would be in front of a live audience. I was so excited! When we arrived at the famous Paramount Studios, I looked around and saw that they film some of my favorite TV shows there. My heart was beating so fast.
The guard told us a golf cart would come pick us up, but we all decided to walk. We saw so many sets that looked familiar and walked down streets that looked like downtown New York. It was kind of like the Universal Studios tour, but it was just my family wandering around checking it out. It was so fun.
We finally got to the set where they film the show. We met Lindsey who my mom had been talking to and making the arrangements, everyone was so nice, and made me feel special. They knew about the Gracelets and everyone wanted one. The staff had us go to a room with food, and and then off to hair and makeup. The lady fixed up my hair and another one did makeup. They put it on because the lighting makes you look washed out, and I loved it. They even put makeup on my dad, although I don't think he loved it as much! We also got a behind the scenes tour of the rooms where they do all of the technical stuff for the show by the director of the show Lynn. My brother Michael really loved that.
We sat in what is called the 'Green Room,' which was not green, so I didn't get why they called it that. We watched them film the first part of the show, then it was our turn to go in. First, they showed the video they filmed at my house and at the surgery. The stage manager 'Bones' had my parents sit on a couch with Dr. Ordon and I went behind 'the egg.' The egg is a screen that is shaped like an egg and says, The Doctors on it. Michael and Dr. Azizzadeh sat in the front row of the audience. Dr. Travis then showed a short video showing what happened in my brain when I had the stroke. I knew it was time, so I put a big smile on my face as they introduced me and I came out to make my big entrance.
If you want to see what happens next, the show it airs Thursday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. on CBS.