Kirsten Storms is taking a step back from General Hospital to focus on her health. On Sunday, the Soap Opera Network confirmed the actress will be taking a temporary leave of absence as she continues to recover after revealing in June that she underwent brain surgery. Storms has portrayed Maxie Jones on the long-running ABC soap opera since 2005, with her last appearance on the show having been a July 19 episode in which her character left Port Charles and traveled to Texas with her baby.
News of Storms' leave of absence came after Storms, 37, first opened up about her health struggles on Friday, June 4. On her Instagram Story, Storms, who was seen wearing a neck brace shared that "less than 48 hours ago I had brain surgery." Storms explained that she underwent surgery to remove "a very large cyst that had split into two." She said the cyst was located "on the lower portion of my brain." The actress clarified that "what they had to drain and remove was not cancer — I want to clarify that right now before the internet goes crazy wild with rumors about this." In an Instagram post, she further shared that she "spent the last few years having random health issues" that she initially "disregarded as side affects (sic) to my medications or just something I was experiencing due to age." However, it was discovered that she had "a rather large, very full of fluid, cyst that was attached to the lower portion of brain" when she "went to get an MRI for some severe neck pain I have been experiencing for the last few months (I assumed this neck pain was also causing my frequent 'migraines')."
At the time, Storms also told fans that she planned to take several weeks off work. She said, "I will be on the mend for the next several weeks but I will be back at work when this is over with." She added in the accompanying post that work had been a "great place to be everyday and for the 2 months leading up to my surgery I found a lot of comfort being around the people I've worked beside for so many years" and she was excited to get back to it after my recovery."
At this time, a date for Storms' return has not been set, and the actress previously said on her Instagram story when first revealing her health struggles, "I will be back at work when this is over with." In the meantime, the Soap Opera Network said Storms' onscreen counterpart "will be spending time in Texas for the foreseeable future," allowing Storms as much time as she needs to recover.