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2 January 5th, 2011 GH’s Burton & Duell emergency replacements for Maurice Benard fan appearances!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After a few days of working out schedules, General Hospital’s Steve Burton (Jason) and Chad Duell (Michael) are boarding the plane and heading east this weekend for originally scheduled fan appearances with Maurice Benard (Sonny).  The appearances set for Levittown, NY, Point Pleasant, NJ, and Trumbull, CT will now have Burton and Duell as the headliners.

So what happened?  As many know, and as Maurice himself discussed on his recent appearance on the On-Air On-Soaps Holiday podcast, the soap icon was heading east for the first time in eight years to see his fans and to concur his fear of flying which had prevented him from traveling in the past due to panic attacks.

However now event organizers have announced that Benard whose first appearance was set for Orlando, Florida had a panic attack and did not get on the plane to fly to the East Coast. Thus actor has rescheduled his appearances in Florida, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey for July 15, 16 and 17.

ABC Soaps In Depth reported, “Although the actor hasn’t flown in years, he’d been working himself up over the past several months to conquer his fear and fly the friendly skies — with his family seated in first class alongside him. However, after his children had boarded the plane headed to Orlando, Benard stepped on board and saw that the aircraft wasn’t as large as what he’d been used to and began to feel claustrophobic. At that point, Benard told his wife, Paula, that he needed to get off the plane. I hope I can make it up to everyone someday,” says Benard, who will drive across the country for his appearances this summer.

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  1. Joss says:

    My heart goes out to Maurice. Having to manage an anxiety disorder is difficult. It’s a shame that his doctor’s couldn’t have found medication to assist him.

    I hope Steve Burton & Chad Duell have a safe trip. They certainly show their humanity by caring enough to step in for Maurice.

    All around, these folks are good people.


  2. Ann says:

    I used to suffer from panic attacks. I have since conquered them. I’m
    not sure how I did that, but I don’t get them anymore. But, when I did,
    I would have pretty severe ones. For example, I would be in the
    middle of the grocery store, feel like I was being closed in, and I
    would have to just leave my cart. I had one so badly one time I thought
    I was having a heart attack. My late-husband took me to the emergency
    room. It was just severe anxiety and panic. They can be debilitating
    and one of the most scary things. That was many years ago. I did
    take antidepressants, but I haven’t needed them anymore.


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