- "I am not fragile. I'm a drug addict. I've fallen off the wagon twice and I've gotten back on it. That doesn't make you fragile, Derek, that makes you very freaking strong."
- —Amelia Shepherd
Amelia Shepherd is the youngest sister of Derek Shepherd. She has made several appearances as a recurring star on Private Practice during season three, and became a regular in season four. She made a visit to Seattle in Grey's Anatomy season seven and again in season eight.
When she was 5, she and Derek saw their father get murdered. She said that afterward her world fell apart and she was in a "dark place" for a long time. During her teens she was so wild and out of control that she was called "Hurricane Amelia". To escape her pain she began using pills. She overdosed (accidentally) when she was a teenager and that almost killed her. She was dead for 3 minutes. She had been referred to as the black sheep of her family. She walked in on Mark and her sister-in-law Addison in bed together but kept it secret from her brother. She was apparently close to Derek at some point, but she now tries to avoid contact with him.
Reconciliation with DerekEdit
Despite not having talked to him for a while, when Amelia heard that Derek got shot, she was so shocked by this that she started smoking. Addison took her cigarettes away when they were going to visit Dell's grave, where Amelia mentioned that the world was a crappy place because of the horrible things that happened lately, like Dell's death and Derek being shot. When she got bored at Addison's house, she visited the practice, hoping there was a patient she could operate on. She talked to Addison and told her that she called and e-mailed Derek to find out how he was doing, but he did not return her calls, nor did he reply to her e-mails. Addison then told her that he was doing fine. and Amelia was surprised that Derek had talked to Addison, while he hadn't talked to her. "That kinda says it all, doesn't it?" Amelia said. When Amelia later told Addison that she wanted to go somewhere, Addison told her to start in Seattle. Addison convinced her that he already hated her, so she had nothing to lose by visiting him. "I'm gonna start in Seattle," Amelia then said. ("Take Two")
Derek Needing a NerveEdit
Meredith ordered Heather Brooks to call all of Derek's sisters to ask them to donate a nerve. Heather mentioned she left Amelia a message, but it's unknown if she ever returned the call. ("Love Turns You Upside Down")
Pregnancy and BirthEdit
Amelia had a boyfriend Ryan with whom she did drugs when she relapsed after her best friend commited suicide. One night, they decided to take the rest of their drugs and get sober the next day. Amelia woke up the next morning to discover Ryan dead. She later found out she was pregnant (she thought she was just experiencing withdrawal symptoms). It turned out the baby was anencephalic (had no brain). She decided to donate the baby's organs. There was a lot of debate with the practice about it, though the organ donation ultimately occurred, saving the lives of several other infants.
Amelia has spunk and is always very outspoken and charismatic. She is that "badass" type of girl who doesn't let anything or anyone get in her way. She seems to have slight trust issues also, because of her troubled past.
Amelia has had several romantic flings, but none very serious. She has told Sam that she doesn't have "anything or anyone" so it appears unlikely that she is the mother of any of the 9 nieces and 5 nephews that Derek had referred previously.
In season five, Amelia does however, get serious with the new character, Ryan, whom she meets at a club and subsequently sleeps with. Amelia and Ryan become very close with their common drug addiction, going on a drug binge for twelve days where they sleep together and do drugs. After a failed intervention with the Oceanside Wellness Group, Amelia returns to her hotel room with Ryan where they make the pact to "get clean" after consuming the last bit of the drugs they have; Amelia passes out and wakes to find a dead Ryan next to her. After the ordeal, Amelia checks herself into a rehab facility. After she fully recovers, she discovers she's pregnant with Ryan's baby.
She discovers it quite late, because she assumed the symptoms were withdrawal symptoms. When Addison gave Amelia her first ultrasound, she discovered her baby boy was anencephalic, meaning he would be born without a brain. During the pregnancy, Amelia decided to donate her baby's organs to save other babies all over the country. After some difficulties with St. Ambrose Hospital's lawyers and an ethical disagreement with Sam, the baby's organs were donated.
She is very close to her former sister-in-law, Addison Forbes Montgomery and says that she has always been a better sister to her then her real sisters. She has three sisters and one brother. She does not believe in God and does not think that people can change. She doesn't give details but she tells Sam that she has "done stuff... bad stuff". She prefers to try and help other people with their personal problems rather than deal with her own life.
Amelia shut out Addison when Addison informed her that her baby had no brain.
She is board certified in neurosurgery and was employed as one of Dr. Geraldine Ginsberg's teaching fellows until Ginsberg fired her for discussing with a patient's husband a surgery that Ginsberg did not recommend and considered highly experimental.
She is a world-class neurosurgeon like Derek and although talking to her brother about her situation could help her find a new position she does not want to call him because of the "lectures and the "I told you so"s and the "You screwed up again"s that she fears will follow. Amelia takes risks in surgeries and at times appears very confident in her own abilities but when problems arise she can become overwhelmed with self-doubt. Sam had to push her to finish her surgery on Addison's comatose patient after complications arose.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- She has a freckle that looks like Indiana.
- Although she mentioned Derek is the only one who can call her Amy, Meredith calls her Amy and has her in her phone address book under the name Amy as well.
- Because Amelia completed a surgical residency prior to a neurosurgery fellowship, it is most likely she is also board certified in general surgery, but because neurosurgery is considered a sub-specialty of general surgery, Amelia is not "double-board certified", as board certification in general surgery is required to obtain board certification in neurosurgery.
- Amelia was dead for three minutes after an overdose of pills. She stated that this pushed her get sober after.
- Amelia was the first person to know about Addison's affair with Mark, but she never told anyone because she was loyal to Addison and considered her a better sister than the ones she had.
These episodes are Amelia-centric or otherwise very informative about her life.