“General Hospital” has told many heartbreaking stories over the years, including Stone Cates’ AIDS storyline and the conflicted history of Luke and Laura’s wedding following her sexual assault at his hands. However, a more recent story that tugged at viewers’ heartstrings was the tragic death of teen character Oscar Nero (Garren Stitt).
Oscar first appeared on “GH” as a potential love interest for Josslyn Jacks (Eden McCoy), per Soaps in Depth. He was introduced to the canvas at an unauthorized party Joss held at Carly Corinthos’ (Laura Wright) house, so naturally, Carly wasn’t thrilled with his presence in her daughter’s life. However, when two teenagers are determined to be together, you can only keep them apart for so long. Eventually, Carly gave the green light for the two kids to date, but the introduction of Oscar’s mother, Kim Nero (Tamara Braun), became another hurdle for the boy.
Kim’s level of secrecy was unmatched regarding the identity of Oscar’s dad. After she arrived in town, the biggest goal in Oscar’s life was finding out who his biological father was. It didn’t take long for Oscar and Joss to suspect it was Drew Cain (then Billy Miller) after discovering a connection between him and Kim (via Soap Central). No matter how hard his mother attempted to withhold the truth from him, Oscar was determined and went to great lengths to uncover his father’s true identity.
Oscar’s relationship with Drew was halted by a surprise illness
Oscar Nero went so far as to have a secret DNA test run between himself and Drew Cain. Still, despite his initial desperation to learn if the man was his father, he ultimately decided against finding out once the results were in (via Soaps in Depth). However, Kim Nero had a change of heart and came clean with her son, revealing that Drew was, in fact, Oscar’s dad. The two tried to form a bond since Drew had missed out on most of Oscar’s childhood after being kidnapped, made to believe he was Jason Morgan, and trained to be an assassin for the likes of Helena Cassadine.
Things were progressing nicely between the father and son, but soon Oscar experienced an unanticipated seizure, changing the course of his young life forever. After Oscar’s medical event, Kim was forced to involve other doctors, but her decision to include oncologist Terry Randolph (Cassandra James) raised eyebrows about the boy’s condition. Backed into a corner, Kim had no choice but to reveal the truth about Oscar’s medical history to Drew. Their son was suffering from an incurable and inoperable brain tumor, and his death was on the horizon. Sadly for Oscar, his parents had no intention of telling him about his cancer diagnosis, hoping to let him live the rest of his life peacefully. However, Oscar’s friend Cameron Webber (William Lipton) discovered the truth and spilled the beans, triggering a heartbreaking chain of events (via Soaps).
Oscar turned on his parents after learning about his illness
Oscar Nero and his parents had far different visions of what the boy’s future would look like. While Kim Nero and Drew Cain were willing to do whatever it took to prolong their son’s life, hoping for a miracle, the experimental treatments took a toll on Oscar, per Soap Central. Eventually, the teen made the painful decision to stop treatment, but his parents pushed back against the idea. Around the same time, Oscar ended his relationship with Josslyn Jacks, giving her no explanation because he thought it would be easier on her in the long run.
Oscar’s inability to make his own medical decisions led him to take drastic actions, hiring Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) to help him seek emancipation from his parents (via Soap Opera Spy). However, Joss learned the truth about Oscar’s condition from Cameron Webber and convinced him to undergo one final procedure in a last-ditch effort to save his life. Unfortunately, the operation was unsuccessful, and Oscar’s days were officially numbered.
Then, everyone experienced a reprieve when Oscar’s tumor suddenly stopped growing, but their relief didn’t last. Eventually, his cancer became even more aggressive, and it was then that Oscar was invited to move into the Quartermaine family mansion to spend the remaining days of his life.
Joss remained by Oscar’s side until his final breath
After settling into the Quartermaine mansion, Oscar had a major request. He wanted his last name changed to reflect his father’s family, the people who were there for him during the end of his life (via Soaps in Depth). Naturally, the request was granted. Newly christened Oscar Nero-Quartermaine, the teen became an official member of Q’s, honoring those who had welcomed him in during his darkest hour.
Sadly, Josslyn Jacks couldn’t help Oscar complete everything on his bucket list, but the young couple made the most of the time they had left. They knew Oscar’s time was nearly up, and Joss stayed by his side until the end and helped him live his last hours comfortably.
During his final moments, Joss and Oscar worked diligently to complete a song they’d been composing for the upcoming Nurse’s Ball (via Soap Hub). It was obvious at this point that Oscar wouldn’t be alive to take part in the performance himself, but they were able to complete the song before he took his final breath. After Oscar’s death, he appeared in spirit form to watch as Joss sang their emotional song in front of the citizens of Port Charles.
Oscar’s death was especially difficult for his mom
In one of the most heartbreaking moments in “General Hospital” history, Oscar Nero died peacefully in his bedroom, with Josslyn Jacks watching over him, per Michael Fairman TV. She was devastated and immediately called in his parents to be with him. The end of Oscar’s life was a somber moment for his loved ones, the citizens of Port Charles, and fans at home who witnessed him being escorted into heaven by his great-grandparents, Edward and Lila Quartermaine.
At the reading of Oscar’s will, everyone important in his life received a thoughtful gift as thanks for being there for him. Oscar even attempted to help brothers Jason Morgan and Drew Cain bond following his death by forcing them to build a tree house in his honor, per Soaps. In addition to the will, Oscar also had a field of flowers named after him called “Oscar’s Meadow.”
Unfortunately, not everyone in his inner circle handled his passing in a healthy way. His mother, Kim Nero, went on a downward spiral, becoming obsessed with the idea of having another child (via Soap Central). She even contemplated stealing Drew’s sperm in an attempt to replace the son she’d lost.
Even though Oscar has been gone since 2019, he is far from forgotten. As a member of one of the most prominent “General Hospital” families, his story will live on for years to come.