"Old Age is like a gift from your grandmother; you don't know when it's coming, but you know you're not going to like it." - Dr. Elizabeth Freeling
Elizabeth Freeling is a resident physician in Ashford Falls, New York at Ashford Falls Community General Hospital. A quiet personal individual for much of her life, she was known to keep details of her life secret from her colleagues and friends. She arrived in Ashford Falls in 1986, and didn't open up about her past until befriending Danny Featherstone.
Born in Astoria, Oregon around 1960, she was the daughter of well-to-do parents. Her father was a contractor who owned his own construction business, but despite his work, he was a very close and loving father. Her mother was a very hands-off parent who dressed and treated her like her a porcelain doll. She struggled with this fact for several years, but she had nothing but happy feelings with her father.
After her father died, Elizabeth was sent off by her mother to live with her Aunt Melissa near Matthias, Oregon. During this period, Elizabeth lashed out by smoking, neglecting her school lessons and cavorting with other teenagers her age and older to attend parties. Unable to control or discipline her, her mother and aunt sent her off to a school run by the Catholic Church for problem teenagers. The act did nothing to curb her wild behavior but ignite her rebellion against adults. She did become friends with Terri Lee and Barbara "Bibi" Pratt, two other girls sent to the school along with her for behavior problems, and the three of them formed a bond to be as difficult around the nuns as possible. Although she had been raised Catholic, Elizabeth did not stay true to her faith. Along with her smoking habit, she also cursed, swore and started drinking. Reportedly, she also dabbled briefly in devil worship but only as far to shock her teachers. She and Terri however became much more closer with each other than they did with Bibi, but Elizabeth also started dating Rick Patterson, a college drop-out with a criminal record.
One night at the dormitory, Terri stumbled into the dormitory after curfew after being attacked and raped. Because it was after time, they didn't notify their teachers, and Elizabeth tried to tend to Terri's injuries, but over the night, she went into sepsis and died from eternal bleeding. The loss pushed Elizabeth to the breaking point, and she tried to commit suicide.
While in the Southwest Oregon Mental Health Hospital, Elizabeth started undergoing mental health therapy. As part of her therapy, she started researching on just why Terri had died and became interested in becoming a doctor. Academically adept at math and science, she graduated high school and took pre-med classes at the University of Oregon. During this period, it is believed she started becoming aloof and unemotional to her colleagues to focus on her studies. Although she was friendly and genial, she stopped dating, avoided socializing and often spent public gatherings by herself.
After graduating, Elizabeth started her internship with twelve other interns at Washington Southwest Medical Hospital near Centralia, Oregon, but the position only lasted a year before the hospital ran out of funds and closed down in 1989. Only seven of the other interns landed other assignments without her, and she had to move back home with her aunt, who tried to reignite her social life unsuccessfully. However, a chance encounter with her medical teacher landed her a position with a colleague, Dr. Albert Waverly in Ashford Falls, New York. Feeling there was nothing left for her in Oregon, she moved to Ashford Falls and continued her medical practice there.
On meeting her, Waverly treated Elizabeth like his daughter, helping her get an apartment and a used car. She treated him cordially and nervously at first, getting advice and guidance from Helen Caldwell, a local nurse, and soon began thinking of him as a replacement to her father. She and Helen also became friends, but Elizabeth still stayed focused on her career over dating.
Over the years, Elizabeth was approached for dates by several of Ashford Falls's most eligible men. Both Blake Hedison and Russell Coleman wooed her, but their relationships went no where. She did get the closest with Danny Featherstone when he brought Marcia Caldwell in to the hospital after an injury. Danny saw her as a person harboring great pain and sadness, and after much prodding, he managed to get her to open up about her life, her father and Terri over drinks at Worshams.
Elizabeth also became friends with local girl, Janet DuBois, a person who reminded her very much of Terri. She helped Janet get in touch with businessman Jack Gates, a person who actually turned out to be TV writer Jack Gable. Danny also let her drive Jack's Ferrari left behind in his absence, considering driving it therapy for her depression.
However, in 1991, Rick tracked Elizabeth down trying to back in touch with her and expecting her to have made some money as a doctor. She responded stand-offish as first, she soon began to relax as he talked about their history together. When he started making comments about Terri, Elizabeth began to suspect he was Terri's unidentified murderer. With Sheriff David Carmichael posing as a building maintenance men at her apartment, and officers Steven Roarke and Ted Beauchamp standing by, she had her conversation with Rick recorded until he implicated himself in Terri's murder. With Elizabeth's help, Sheriff Carmichael arrested him and had him extradited back to Oregon.
Having made her peace with the world, Dr. Freeling works alongside Dr. Paul Kirkwood at the hospital where she specializes in family medicine. Her favorite eatery in town is the New York Delicatessen. She also enjoys riding horses at the Ashford Falls Riding Stables. Although she doesn't mind being called "Liz," she tries to avoid being called "Lizzie" as it reminds her of Lizzie Borden.