Sam is the husband of Michael who had a hard time letting him go.
While they were heading to the grocery store, Sam and his husband Michael were in a car accident. Michael was traumatically injured in the accident. First, his heart ruptured and they repaired that. But the next day, his lungs collapsed. By Thursday, his kidneys failed. The sepsis and infection took three more days to kill his brain, leaving him brain dead.
After Michael was declared brain dead, his husband, Sam, signed the papers to turn off the machines. As the machines were being turned off, Sam changed his mind, so the machines were turned back on. Owen assigned Cristina to stay with the Sam and make him understand that turning off the machines it the best course of action. Emily Kovach offered her help, saying she was there when the couple came in and had gotten to know Sam.
Cristina showed Sam a scan of a patient in a coma who was not brain dead and compared it to Michael's, saying that they hadn't seen any brain function from Michael in three days.
Later, Cristina came in and explained how Michael had died in slow motion. If he had died immediately after the crash, he'd be just as dead, but Sam wouldn't be feeling the way he was. He would have the comfort of knowing that Michael was dead.
Sam asked Cristina to bring him the papers, which he signed. Then he sat with his husband while he died, telling him that he was scared to lose Michael.
He had been with his husband Michael for 22 years. They were together for three years before he told Michael he loved him and it was six years before they moved in together.