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Ellen Pompeo’s Reaction To Justin Chambers Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Is Heartbreaking

This doctor has left the building. In a statement to Deadline on Jan. 10, actor Justin Chambers officially said goodbye to his Grey's Anatomy character, Dr. Alex Karev. After 15 years in the operating room, and as one of the few doctors left from the show's first season, Grey's fans were crushed to learn about his departure. And, to add salt to the wound, Ellen Pompeo's reaction to Justin Chambers leaving Grey's Anatomy is just about the most emotional thing on the internet.

On Friday, Jan. 10, Vanity Fair published an article about Justin Chamber's confirmed departure from the series, referencing his last episode, which aired on Nov. 14. Then on Jan. 11, Vanity Fair took to Twitter with a link to the article, tweeting: "#GreysAnatomy is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet." The linked article is entitled, "Grey’s Anatomy Will Not Be the Same Without Alex Karev."

Ellen Pompeo replied to the tweet with a solemn, "Truer words have never been spoken." The Grey's Anatomy star is not just losing a co-star, but a person she's been working with on the show since the very beginning. Chambers was the last member of the initial cast of interns on the show, aside from Pompeo herself. It's clear that Pompeo is just as sad about Chambers leaving the show as fans are.

With Chambers' departure, the sole members of the OG cast remaining on the show are is now down to three. Richard Webber (played by James Pickens Jr.), Miranda Bailey (played by Chandra Wilson), and Meredith Grey (Pompeo).

Fans last saw Chambers' character, Karev, there for Grey at her insurance-fraud trial, after both he and Grey were fired from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for the fraud incident. Karev was a crucial part of the show in many seasons, with his final episode assisting in getting Grey her job back and reestablishing her clout as a surgeon.

In his statement, Chambers said, “There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years." He added that he hopes to try out new, diverse acting roles after this move and focus on family. "As I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time," he said.

Mitch Haaseth/Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

So while fans have probably not seen the last of Chambers, they've already seen the last of Karev. Chambers' final episode as Karev aired on Nov. 14. He didn't appear in the Season 16 mid-season finale, as fans learned that Karev went home to take care of his mother. While this likely isn't the huge, emotional sendoff fans expected, it's an on-brand move for Karev.

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 returns to ABC on Jan. 22.