She settled in to her new community but she put her foot down when Karl said that he wanted another baby. Having put her career on hold to raise children, she hoped to get back into teaching. Susan did get a job at Erinsborough High, although she also continued parenting, taking in waifs and strays such as Toadie Rebecchi, Joel Samuels, Lori Lee, Stingray and Dylan Timmins and Sindi Watts. The surrogacy helped her deal with losing her own children as Mal, Libby and Billy all grew up and moved away. She was extremely fond of Libby’s husband Drew and is a doting grandmother to Ben.
Not all of Susan’s family relationships have been as straightforward. While in Africa with Brett Stark, Susan confessed that she had helped her own mother to die. She has also struggled with a troubled niece, Elly, and a devious nephew, Darcy. And of course there’s her ex husband Karl.
Karl had been honest about his potential for infidelity when he fell for a terminally ill patient shortly after the move to Ramsay Street but it was his kiss with sexy receptionist Sarah Beaumont that really jeopardised the Kennedy marriage. Susan found out months later from her son Billy. She slapped Karl and threw him out. After counselling they managed to resolve a lot of their issues but things were never quite the same.
Slipping on some spilt milk and waking up with retrograde amnesia could have been the perfect opportunity to start again. Believing that it was 1972 and she was still 16, Susan remembered nothing of the last thirty years. However, the process of recapturing her memory meant that she had to process Karl’s betrayal all over again and this time she asked for a divorce. The tragedy of Drew’s death brought them back together and half-way through the renewal of their vows, Susan’s memory came flooding back.
Their relationship broke down again when Karl developed a drinking problem. During a trial separation, Karl started seeing Isabelle Hoyland who convinced him he was the father of her unborn baby. Susan and Izzy hated each other and Susan and Karl only just managed to keep their divorce amicable. It was Susan that later found out Izzy had lied about the paternity of her baby and forced her to come clean. Despite everything, Karl and Susan have always had a special place in each other’s hearts.
However Karl wasn’t the only one to move on after their divorce. Saucy Susan managed to tempt Father Tom Scully away from the priesthood and had an outrageous fling with Max Hoyland’s dad Bobby. She fell in love again when she met Alex Kinski, blissfully unaware that he was about to be diagnosed with cancer. They married quickly when Alex’s health deteriorated but he died shortly afterwards. She initially battled Alex’s estranged daughter Katya over custody of her new step-children but all three Kinski kids eventually moved in to No. 28. However, when Susan secretly rekindled her relationship with Karl, the harmony was shattered. Devoted to the memory of their late father, Rachel in particular reacted badly.
However, with some time and space and some good old fashioned parenting, the kids came to accept Karl as their step-father and even endured his attempts to turn their home into a farm. Susan herself was forced to draw the line when Karl’s rooster Springsteen gave them all fleas.
Susan was stunned and delighted when, on holiday in the UK, Karl proposed atop the London Eye. Little did she realise that there were two more surprises in store: a spontaneous ceremony on the Thames organised by romantic Karl… and the arrival of a heavily pregnant Izzy Hoyland. Although Izzy had assured Susan that Karl was not the father of her baby, Susan overheard Izzy discussing her intention to keep the secret to herself with her new partner Pete. Torn, Susan eventually told Karl the truth.
Being a responsible family man, Karl immediately flew back to London to sort things out with Izzy, leaving Susan alone in Erinsborough. And in a quirk of perfect timing, former fling Tom Scully arrived on the doorstep announcing that not only has he left the priesthood but he was now her new boss. Although Tom tried his hardest to show Susan that she deserved better than Karl, Susan knew where her heart truly lay and stayed faithful to her husband.
With her marriage finally back on track, Susan then faced her biggest challenge yet. Feeling unusually tired but desperate to get to an important meeting with Rachel, Susan fell asleep at the wheel of her car. Unbeknownst to her she hit Bridget Parker who was left unable to walk unaided. At the resultant hit and run trial Susan was determined to plead guilty, desperate to be punished for her mistake and to heal the rift between her family and their good friends the Parkers.
Thanks to Toadie she received a suspended sentence and avoided prison. However, there was more bad news when the source of Susan’s tiredness was revealed. Although doctors initially assumed she was simply menopausal, a series of blackouts, followed by numbness in her hands and a terrifying attack of blindness led them to diagnose her with Multiple Sclerosis.
With the love and support of her family, including returned daughter Libby and grandson Ben, Susan is learning to incorporate her illness into her everyday life and refuses to let it define her.