Back in April, Leslie Charleson had to take a medical leave of absence from playing Monica Quartermaine on GENERAL HOSPITAL after being sidelined by her pooch, Riley Rose. “I love my dog, but I didn’t that night,” she quipped to Soaps In Depth. “I have a brick patio and I opened the door to let her out, and she caught me. I sat down hard… and I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. The most amazing thing was that I had my purse with me and my phone fell out of it! I crawled to it and was able to call 911.”
After having surgery to repair her fractured hip, the avid equestrian was told to take it easy, but that just wasn’t in her nature. “I didn’t rest,” she chuckled. “I got rid of all of the [walking aids], went to physical therapy and then went to my horse. I’ve been riding for a couple months. Don’t tell my doctor!”
The entire ordeal has been taxing but also quite touching. “People were so gracious and wonderful, from [GH executive producer] Frank Valentini to the fans,” Charleson raved. “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and love.
As for her temporary recast, Charlson was honored by the choice. “I’m so grateful for Patty McCormack for filling in,” the GH legend confessed. “It’s a tough job to do. It’s terrible [being a recast]! I’ve been there. No one likes you — it doesn’t matter what you do. But I got somebody who won an Oscar. Wow! I’m impressed. I couldn’t have been more thrilled with that… Well, actually I wish I could have been there.”
While in good spirits, Charleson revealed she’s got more work to do. “I didn’t know that the surgery would shorten my leg,” grumbled the actress, who’s now wearing a lift in one shoe. “My balance is off, so I’m seeing a doctor at the end of August to repair that. Because this is unacceptable. I had a doctor tell me, ‘We have patients your age, and they’re just lucky to be alive.’ No, no, no! I have to ride, and I have things to do!”
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