As seen on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, Jack Abbott, the patriarch of the Abbott family, has been away for a few weeks on an unexpected business trip.
But there was a real-life reason why Peter Bergman, who played Jack in the serial opera, had to stop performing immediately. Bergman detailed to Soap Opera Digest the need for emergency eye surgery to repair a detached retina.
Bergman’s medical problem appeared out of nowhere. While on his way to join his family on California’s central coast, the actor saw an unusual incident on the inside corner of his left eye, but he kept it a secret.
“Throughout the evening, I was seeing something creeping into my vision, and at the end of that night, it was like a curtain closing in toward the center of my seeing,” he recalled.
When Bergman awakened the next morning, he knew something was extremely wrong. Fortunately, his sister could obtain an appointment with a neighboring ophthalmologist in San Luis Obispo, who diagnosed him with a detached retina.
Bergman would need emergency surgery to restore his vision, which the physician recommended that he have done at home. Fortunately, Bergman’s wife Mariellen knew the sister-in-law of the recommended Los Angeles doctor, and the actor already had an appointment scheduled for the next day.
Before undergoing surgery, Bergman told his Y&R bosses, and a plan for Jack’s sudden departure was devised. Especially during a particularly difficult recuperation, his coworkers’ sympathy “made me feel incredibly unique.”
“I had to maintain my face parallel to the floor for 50 minutes out of every hour for seven days,” he stated. Bergman could watch television because of a unique “contraption” Mariellen devised, but stated, “my favorite activities are exercising and reading books, and I couldn’t do either.” It seemed to take forever.”
Mishael Morgan (Amanda), who had the same operation last spring, greatly supported Bergman during the ordeal. “I got as much information on what to expect from her as possible,” he stated. “She was fantastic.”
The Emmy winner is excited about Jack’s next “very excellent stuff” and is glad to be back at Y&R. He is grateful for the effective resolution of his medical emergency. He described it as a magnificent trip and a brief encounter with blindness. “It served as a sobering reminder of the importance of sight. Never take it for granted.”