Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson) refused to ‘give up’ on Oliver in Coronation Street, as she demanded a second opinion regarding his diagnosis, but she receives even more heartbreaking news in tonight’s double-bill (September 16).
After Oliver had another seizure, Dr Howarth (Caroline Harding) informed Leanne and Steve (Simon Gregson) that said seizure hadn’t stopped, and therefore he had to be sedated.
She then told the worried parents that they should prepare for the possibility that Oliver might not recover this time.
In Monday’s episode double-bill (September 14), the doctor attempted to remove the breathing tube and lower Oliver’s sedation, but the little boy started seizing again — meaning that they couldn’t carry on.
She was therefore forced to tell a heartbroken Steve and Leanne that the seizing will not stop, and Oliver will be unable to breath without a tube — meaning that life support is the only thing keeping him alive.
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.
Leanne refused to give up hope, as she remained by Oliver’s side, promising that she’ll never give up on him.
In tonight’s double-bill, Dr Howarth reveals that a specialist consultant from another hospital is coming in to assess Oliver, and therefore give a second opinion.
Leanne is hopeful by such a development, and Nick (Ben Price) later leaves her thrilled, when he reveals that — having researched the internet — he’s discovered a hospital in Germany which can treat people with Oliver’s condition.
However, her hopes are later dashed once more, when the doctor reveals that the second opinion has only confirmed that Oliver will never be able to breath unaided, and thus the time has arrived to talk about switching off his life support.
How will Leanne react?
Coronation Street continues Wednesday September 16 at 7:30pm & 8:30pm on ITV.
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