Coronation Street fans have been gripped by Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson) and Steve McDonald’s (Simon Gregson) heartache as they deal with the aftermath of their son Oliver’s health worries.
Oliver had a seizure and ended up in hospital, and later they discovered that he’d sustained brain damage after his seizure.
Leanne had started to hope that he was on the mend after Oliver showed signs of improvement, but in tonight’s episode, she and Steve are told their son has a form of mitochondrial disease.
Is Oliver going to die?
Will Oliver die?
Oliver has been diagnosed with an incurable form of mitochondrial disease which will eventually take his life.
His parents have been utterly devastated in the wake of getting this awful news, as has much of the community on the cobbles.
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.
In coming scenes, Leanne will continue to crack.
She’ll tell Steve that Oliver is all she wanted and when he dies, she will have nothing left, and unfortunately Simon Barlow (Alex Bain) will overhear her.
He’ll be left hurting from this, and even though Leanne apologises, he’ll say he wants to move in with his father.
Will Leanne end up losing both of her sons?
Coronation Street is next on tonight at 7:30pm on ITV.
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