How a family health crisis changed Nikki DeLoach’s life

How a family health crisis changed Nikki DeLoach’s life

Nikki DeLoach has been in the public eye since she was a child. After starring in the Mickey Mouse Club alongside Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Christina Aguilera, she went on to appear in movies such as The House Bunny and TV shows such as Days of Our Lives, CSI: NY, Cold Case, NCIS, Mad Men, Criminal Minds, and Grey’s Anatomy. In an interview with Us Weekly, the actress said making a living as an actress has been a dream come true.

“It’s everything I wanted to do when I was a kid,” she said. “Every single day, I honestly go, ‘I cannot believe I am doing the thing that I wanted to do when I was three years old and getting paid to do it.’”

But in recent years, the actress and mother has pivoted in her career. Though she still stars in movies, DeLoach has also become a successful screenwriter. This change came about because of a health crisis in her family.

Family health crisis

Nikki DeLoach married her childhood sweetheart, Ryan Goodell, and went on to have two sons, William and Bennett. But it was during her pregnancy with her second son, Bennett, that the actress realized her life was about to change dramatically.

Nikki DeLoach with her husband, Ryan Goodell, and their sons, Bennett and William. (Image: Instagram/@nikdeloach)
Nikki DeLoach with her husband, Ryan Goodell, and their sons, Bennett and William. (Image: Instagram/@nikdeloach)

While undergoing a prenatal scan, DeLoach noticed that the technician was focusing on a specific area. When she asked if there was a problem, the technician replied, “You’ll have to wait for the doctor.” In an interview with People, DeLoach said that was when she knew something was wrong.

It turned out that Bennett had multiple heart defects.

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“For an entire month we were waiting to find out if our pregnancy was something that we would be able to continue with,” she said. “I didn’t know if my son would live. It was paralyzing.”

Bennett was born in September 2017. Days after his birth, he underwent a heart transplant. DeLoach knew she would no longer be able to continue on the same career path.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to act again,” she told Retaility. “I had no idea what we were up against and we were told a lot of really scary scenarios. So I said, ‘Listen, if I can never leave him or I don’t want to leave him, I’ll pivot. I will write. I can do that from home and that’ll be the new way forward.’”

She turned to friend and writing partner Megan McNulty and the two began churning out scripts.

The romance between Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach heats up in new Hallmark mystery Curious Caterer: Grilling Season. (Image: Hallmark Media)

Screenwriter

DeLoach said she was fortunate to have a good relationship with Hallmark Media. Not only have they produced some of the scripts she has written with McNulty — Christmas For Keeps (2021) and True Justice: Family Ties (2024) among them — they have given her the opportunity to continue to work in front of the camera.

“Luckily, Hallmark wanted to use me,” she told Retaility. “It was perfect because I could work for three weeks and come back, be a mom, and take care of Bennett.”

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