Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) was left heartbroken in Coronation Street tonight (November 14) when, after the judge decided that Oliver’s life support will be withdrawn, Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) refused to support her appeal.
Tonight’s episode of the ITV soap was a special hour-long instalment focusing exclusively on the Oliver story.
The day Leanne had been dreading arrived as, after a gruelling week in court, the judge had made a decision.
Leanne, Steve and Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) gathered, as the judge spoke in great detail about the difficulties in presiding over a case such as Oliver’s.
She also spoke about how it could not be determined whether or not Oliver is suffering as a result of being kept alive — something which evidently hit a note with Steve.
Therefore, she decided that it would be in the young boy’s best interests to have his life support withdrawn.
Leanne was devastated, and spoke to Imran Habeeb (Charlie de Melo) about appealing the verdict.
What is mitochondrial disease?
Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body (except red blood cells).
Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support organ function. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole organ systems begin to fail.
The parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, muscles and lungs, requiring the greatest amounts of energy are the most affected.
Symptoms vary depending on the organ(s) affected but may include seizures, atypical cerebral palsy, autistic features, developmental problems, fainting and temperature instability.
According to The Lily Foundation, the prognosis depends upon the severity of the disease and other criteria. As more research funds are raised to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure, some of the affected children and adults are living fairly normal lives with mitochondrial disease.
In other cases, children may not be able to see, hear, talk or walk. Affected children may not survive beyond their teenage years. Adult onset can result in drastic changes from an active lifestyle to a debilitating ilness is a short amount of time.
Treatment plans vary from patient to patient but involve therapies, diet changes and other means to try and slow the progress of the disease.
You can find out more information from the NHS here.
Steve wasn’t convinced that this was the best idea after hearing what the huge has said, but he initially went along with her.
However, upon arriving at the hospital, he reconsidered, telling Leanne that he doesn’t think the appeal is right, and that it’s time for them to let Oliver go.
Leanne was heartbroken, and branded Steve ‘evil’, before ordering him to get out and leave her alone.
Coronation Street continues Monday November 16 at 7:30pm on ITV.
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