As seen on The Young & The Restless, Jack Abbott, the patriarch of the Abbott family, has been away for a few weeks on an unplanned business trip.

But there was a real-life reason why Peter Bergman, who played Jack in the serial opera, had to stop acting immediately. Bergman described to Soap Opera Digest the need for immediate eye surgery to repair a detached retina.

Bergman’s medical emergency appeared out of nowhere. While on his way to see his family on California’s central coast, the actor noticed an unusual occurrence on the inside corner of his left eye, but he kept it a secret.

“Throughout the evening, I was seeing something creeping into my vision, and toward the end of that night, it was like a curtain closing in toward the center of my seeing,” he recalled.

When Bergman awoke the next morning, he knew something was very wrong. Fortunately, his sister got him an appointment with a nearby ophthalmologist in San Luis Obispo, who diagnosed him with a detached retina.

Bergman would need emergency surgery to restore his vision, which the specialist recommended that he have done at home. Fortunately, Bergman’s wife Mariellen knew the sister-in-law of the recommended Los Angeles doctor, and the actor already had an appointment scheduled for the next day.

Before undergoing surgery, Bergman informed his Y&R superiors, and a plan for Jack’s sudden departure was devised. Especially during a particularly difficult rehabilitation, his coworkers’ compassion “made me feel unique.”

“I had to maintain my face parallel to the floor for 50 minutes out of every hour for seven days,” he claimed. Bergman could watch television thanks to a unique “contraption” Mariellen devised, but noted that “my favorite activities are exercising and reading books, and I couldn’t do either. It seemed to take forever.”

Mishael Morgan (Amanda), who had the same surgery last spring, was a huge help to Bergman during the ordeal. “I gathered as much information on what to expect from her as possible,” he said. “She was fantastic.”

The Emmy winner is excited about Jack’s upcoming “really good stuff” and is glad to be back at Y&R. He is grateful for the successful resolution of his medical emergency. He described it as a fantastic adventure and a brief encounter with blindness. “It served as a sobering reminder of the importance of sight. Never take it for granted.”