Is Maggie Leaving Chicago Med? Fans Are Concerned After Her Portrayer Was Diagnosed With Cancer
After weeks of clues that she could be resigning from Gaffney to move to another hospital, One Chicago fans can’t help but ask: Is Maggie leaving Chicago Med and what will happen to Marlyne Barrett’s character?
Chicago Med is NBC’s medical drama following the personal and professional lives of doctors and nurses in the emergency department of the fictional Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. The series — which premiered in 2015 and is created by Dick Wolf, the same mind behind the Law & Order and FBI franchises — is the third spin-off in NBC’s One Chicago franchise, which also includes Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.
Marlyne Barrett plays Magie Lockwood (now Maggie Campbell), a charge nurse at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center’s emergency department. She marries her husband, Ben Campbell, a cancer patient she meets while in treatment for breast cancer, in Season 5. Maggie is one of the few original remaining characters on Chicago Med, along with Dr. Will Halstead, Sharon Goodwin and Dr. Daniel Charles. But could her time at Gaffney be over? Read on for what we know about if Maggie is leaving Chicago Med and what happened to Marlyne Barrett’s character.
Is Maggie Lockwood leaving Chicago Med?
Is Maggie Lockwood leaving Chicago Med? There has been no confirmation that Marlyne Barrett — who plays Maggie — is leaving Chicago Med. However, there are clues that Season 8 could be Maggie’s last.
In Season 8, Episode 19, “Look Closely and You Might Hear the Truth,” Maggie reveals to Sharon Goodwin, the Executive Director of Patient and Medical Services at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, that she’s been talking to a recruiter and exploring jobs at other hospitals because of how Gaffney is moving toward being a for-profit hospital. “I feel guilty even thinking about leaving,” Maggie says. “All the changes that are going down in the ED and all this chatter about going for-profit. I have a bad feeling about the direction that Jack is taking us.”
The title and description for the Chicago Med Season 8 finale — episode 22, “Does One Door Close and Another One Open?” — also hints that Maggie could be leaving Gaffney and Chicago Med. “Shocking information threatens Jack Dayton’s surgery and the future of OR 2.0. Archer goes rogue to save a patient in need. Maggie questions her future at Med,” the description reads.
As for why Barrett could be leaving Chicago Med, there’s speculation that she’s quitting the series to focus on her health after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2022. In an interview with People in September 2022, Barrett revealed that she was diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer after doctors found a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary in July 2022. “I’m an extremely private person, but I felt a responsibility to tell my story, she said at the time. “When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media. They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me.” She continued, “We as human beings are so scared to face the mortality of life, or to even pronounce the word cancer. But we have so much more strength inside of us than we think.”
Barrett, who has no family history of uterine or ovarian cancer, explained that her health journey started in the summer of 2022 when she started to feel ill after a hernia operation in April 2022. “I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn’t shake,” she said. “I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting.”
Doctors informed her that she had a mass on her ovary and uterus on July 18, 2022, and would need to undergo “aggressive” chemotherapy and a hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove her uterus, to remove the cancer. “The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood,” she said. “I didn’t believe them, but when they showed me the CT scan, I went, ‘Oh my word.’ The first questions were, ‘Am I going to live?’ I just fell into my husband’s arms. It still takes my breath away when I think about it.” She continued, “The best way I could experience was to meet it. There’s no running from it because it’s my life. And eventually you just surrender because it’s so much bigger than anything you’ve ever faced. I found this courage and I just hunkered down and said, ‘I’m going to face this.'”
As for her hair, Barrett told People that she decided to shave her head once chemotherapy started to not “give the power” to her cancer. “I didn’t want to give the power to chemo,” she said “My hair has always been an essence of beauty. But I took my own razor and I shaved my head. I did it in front of my babies so they’d see it was still Mommy. I wept, I wept, I wept. But it was a beautiful experience to do it in front of them.” She also told People that some members of the Chicago Med cast and crew have also shaved their heads to support her. “I’ve had people shave their heads on set to support me,” she said.
As for how her experience on Chicago Med has changed since her cancer diagnosis, Barrett told People that she takes naps and occasional days off to maintain her energy levels to film as Maggie. “I start an hour earlier to get my bearings before I start my day,” she said. “Because of the mass, my mid-range is a different size, so the costume department does an incredible job. Interestingly enough, my character on the show already wears a wig!” She continued, “Work brings me a lot of joy right now. It brings me a lot of reprieve to think about something other than, ‘When is my next chemo shift?’ and ‘How am I going to hug my children?'”
At the time of her interview with People, Barrett was preparing for her third round of chemotherapy at City of Hope in Los Angeles, California. “I have a wave of emotion that comes,” she said, adding that she was taking her diagnosis “one day at a time. “But it’s OK not to have it all together. You can’t tangibly hold onto fear. But I’m holding onto faith.”
Barrett’s diagnosis also comes after Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer in Season 5. In Season 5, Episode 1, “Never Going Back,” Maggie learns she has breast cancer after she undergoes a mammogram and discovers she has metastatic adenocarcinoma.
Chicago Med airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
For more on the One Chicago franchise, check out our photo gallery on the most shocking exits on Chicago Fire.