Sabrina Santiago came to Port Charles and joined the nursing staff at the hospital after her cousin, former resident Juan Santiago, had spoken highly about the town and the hospital. Sabrina had been raised by her cousin's family after her mother's death when she was young. Her mother had been a nurse and Sabrina planned to follow in her footsteps. At General Hospital, Sabrina immediately developed a crush on neurosurgeon Patrick Drake. She was intrigued by him after she learned he was recently widowed and raising his young daughter on his own. Sabrina was honored when Patrick reached out to her and mistakenly believed that he wanted to take her on a date. Instead, Patrick asked Sabrina to baby-sit his daughter Emma while he went out on a date with a fellow doctor named Britt Westbourne.
Britt and Sabrina each sensed the other woman's interest in Patrick and Britt showed her superiority as a doctor by ordering Sabrina around. Regardless, Sabrina agreed to watch Patrick's daughter and she enjoyed spending time with Emma in Patrick's home. As Sabrina and Emma bonded, Patrick and Sabrina started to develop a friendship, much to Britt's dismay.
Sabrina remained intrigued by Patrick's former wife Robin and Emma told Sabrina about the Nurses Ball that the hospital used to hold to raise money for HIV after Robin was declared HIV positive. Sabrina decided to resurrect the Nurses Ball as a tribute to Robin. Her friends Elizabeth Webber and Felix Dubois joined the effort, along with Patrick, Elizabeth's brother Steve, and Britt. They struggled to find funding for the ball until Felix connected Sabrina with Lucy Coe.
As the plans for the ball moved forward, Sabrina continued to spend time with Patrick's daughter and Patrick as well. They almost shared a kiss but Sabrina distanced herself from Patrick and Emma after Britt led Sabrina to believe that Patrick knew about her crush and felt uncomfortable around her. Sabrina tried to avoid Patrick even though Felix and Elizabeth urged her to fight for him. Eventually Patrick ended his relationship with Britt. She blamed Sabrina for the break-up and took steps to end Sabrina's nursing career before it officially started. Patrick remained by Sabrina's side while she fought to save her career.
After Patrick's unwavering support, Sabrina confessed her feelings for him. When Patrick did not immediately express the same feelings, Sabrina decided to move on and accepted a date with Milo Giambetti. As Sabrina and Milo got to know one another, Patrick realized that he had romantic feelings for Sabrina and escorted her to the Nurse's Ball.
Sabrina was unsure of where she stood with Patrick after Britt announced at the ball that she was pregnant with Patrick's child. Despite Britt's news, Sabrina and Patrick decided to pursue a relationship. Sabrina felt that Britt planned to use the pregnancy to win Patrick back. With the help of her roommate Felix, Sabrina chose to fight for Patrick by allowing Britt to move in with them after Britt claimed to have complications with the pregnancy. As Britt's pregnancy progressed, Sabrina and Felix questioned the paternity of Britt's child until test results confirmed that Patrick was the child's father. Sabrina remained by Patrick's side and supported his decision to be a part of his child's life.
Eventually Britt confessed that Patrick was not her baby's father and Patrick and Sabrina were able to move forward with their relationship without Britt's interference. However, Sabrina's former lover Carlos arrived in Port Charles and claimed that he still loved Sabrina and wanted her back. Carlos questioned Sabrina's place in Patrick's life since Patrick still wore his wedding ring and had not made a formal commitment to her. She defended Patrick but secretly wondered if he would ever be ready to move forward. Her worries ceased after Patrick proposed marriage and they made plans to marry as soon as possible.