Maggie recently returned to Salem on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, but fans were unaware of the frightening medical crisis that kept portrayer Suzanne Rogers off the soap for six months. On Nov. 18, 2020, the actress was at home preparing to do some cleaning and while taking one of her medications, the pill became lodged in her throat and she found herself struggling to breathe.
“And so panic kind of set in because since my mother passed away, I live by myself, so I was concerned,” Rogers revealed to Soap Opera Digest. “I managed to get to the phone and I called 911 because I didn’t know what to do and I was choking the words out, and in five minutes they were here. I don’t know why the EMTs didn’t try a Heimlich maneuver but they just put me on a gurney and said, ‘What hospital?’ and put an oxygen thing on my nose and I don’t remember a whole lot beyond that.”
When she awoke in the hospital, Rogers found that she had lost most of her hair and her scalp was covered in scabs. She had also been put on a ventilator because they thought she had pneumonia. “It was right at the height of COVID so I don’t know if they thought maybe it was going to go into that,” she admitted. “All of a sudden, I was aware of where I was and I kept seeing patients being brought in that did have COVID and I thought, ‘I gotta get out of here,’ because I was concerned I was going to get it. That was the fear. They said, ‘Well, you’ve been here for two weeks.’ And that was a shock because I wasn’t aware of any of it.”
Then myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease Rogers was diagnosed with back in the ‘80s kicked in, but Rogers was determined to go to her therapy and get better so she could leave the hospital. “I was just determined because it was at a stage where I didn’t think I was going to get home,” she confessed. “And the thing of it was, because COVID was so rampant, there were no visitors, so I went through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all by myself. Ken [Corday, DAYS executive producer] got the phone number to the hospital where I was and he would call and cheer me up and sent beautiful flowers from the show.”
Thankfully, Rogers recovered and got back home on Jan. 4, returning to work at DAYS at the end of May. Of course, because her hair hasn’t yet grown back in, she is wearing a wig on camera until it does. The actress was also grateful to the soap for allowing her to return to work at her own pace. And she now reports: “I feel terrific and I relish being vertical every day. I feel like I’m very much getting back to me so now I can talk to the fans about what transpired.”