Following the death of Laura Sadler who played Sandy Harper, the scriptwriters consulted her mother, Sonja Sadler, to find the most fitting way to write out the much-loved character and actress from the series. Mrs Sadler devised the storyline in which Sandy wins the lottery and secretly leaves the hospital to make a new life for herself in Australia, leaving money for her friends.
In 2003, popular character Sandy Harper was intended to take centre stage in a storyline involving murderous nurse "Killer" Kelly Yorke (Rachel Leskovac). However, actress Laura Sadler was killed in an accident at her boyfriends home in June 2003, meaning that Sandy was immediately written out of the show. The part Sandy would have played in the storyline then went to Kath Fox (Jan Pearson) who became Kelly's next victim.