Bob Verne: The Very Personal Story Behind The Grey’S Anatomy Episode Dedication


There’s a very personal story behind the Grey’s Anatomy episode dedicated to Bob Verne. The cast of Grey’s Anatomy may publicly be celebrated as the reason for the medical drama’s many years of success, but the writers, directors, producers, and below-the-line crew are just as crucial. One of the most critical of these “background” players is Krista Vernoff. Vernoff started on Grey’s Anatomy as a writer and executive producer before being promoted to showrunner and head writer in 2007. After briefly leaving in 2011, Vernoff returned for season 14.

However, after several years at the helm of one of the best medical dramas of all time, Vernoff announced in 2023 that she would be leaving Grey’s Anatomy as showrunner, with Meg Marinis replacing her for season 20. Now showrunner for the firefighter drama, Station 19, Vernoff has done a lot in her career, including paying homage to an incredibly important person in her life on Grey’s Anatomy.

Grey’s Anatomy Producer Krista Vernoff Wrote “Six Days” As A Tribute To Her Father, Bob Verne
Vernoff Went Through A Very Similar Experience To George O’Malley

Grey’s Anatomy season 3, episodes 11 and 12, “Six Days”, is a two-part episode written by Vernoff for a very particular reason. In the episode, Dr. George O’Malley’s (T.R. Knight) father, Harold (George Dzundza), goes into the hospital for a dangerous surgery to hopefully remove the cancer that was discovered a few episodes earlier. At first, it appears the surgery was a success, but in episode 12, Harold enters a coma, kept alive by a life support system, and his family makes the difficult choice to take him off it, as his organs are quickly failing.

The episode ends with a title card that reads,

“In memory of Bob Verne.”

Verne’s health took a turn for the worse, and Vernoff and her family had to make the same decision as the O’Malleys and take her father off life support.

Bob Verne is Vernoff’s late father and his death served as inspiration for the episode. Like Harold, Verne also died from esophageal cancer (via We Got This Covered). The storyline closely follows what happened to Vernoff’s dad. Verne also discovered his cancer at a late stage and only a week after beginning to feel sick from some unknown illness, he went into surgery. At first appearing to get better, Verne’s health took a turn for the worse, and Vernoff and her family had to make the same decision as the O’Malleys and take her father off life support.


It’s a very moving Grey’s Anatomy story and Vernoff’s proximity to the real event gives the episode even more heart than is typical for the show. Vernoff found the writing of the episode a cathartic experience, answering a question from Variety about her favorite episode,

“I wrote an episode season three called ‘Six Days’. It turned into “Six Days Parts One’ and ‘Two’ because it ran so long we had to turn it into two episodes and shoot extra material. But it was about the death of my dad, and it was about the death of George O’Malley’s dad, but it was very much my story and it’s the thing I’m most proud of. I’m really proud of it.”

Vernoff Was Nominated For An Emmy For Writing “Into You Like A Train”
The Episode Centers On Patients Injured From A Train Derailment

Bonnie & Tom Impaled By Train Pole In Grey’s Anatomy episode, Into You like a Train.
Vernoff earned an Emmy nomination for Best Writing for the episode “Into You Like a Train”, season 2, episode 6. In the episode, a train derailment sees the arrival of a pair of patients impaled together on a pole and the doctors have to struggle to figure out who they can save. Grey’s Anatomy does what it does best in this episode, which is turn something that may sound melodramatic on paper into something truly moving and complex. Watching the doctors determine who they will need to let die to save others is harrowing and affecting.