Coronation Street: Leanne Batterbsy's fight to save Oliver explained as doctors suggest turning off his life support

LEANNE Batterbsy makes a final attempt to save her son Oliver as doctor’s suggest turning off his life support.

Leanne – who is played by Jane Danson in the ITV soap – will contact a hospital in Germany where they claim they can treat Oliver and downplay her son’s symptoms. Here’s the lowdown…

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What’s Leanne’s final attempt to save Oliver in Coronation Street?

Viewers know that Leanne has been in denial about the fact that Oliver will die ever since he was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease earlier this year. 

And when the doctor suggests turning off her son’s life support next week, Leanne hits the roof and accuses her of giving up on Oliver.

Leanne then frantically does some research online, and announces that she’s found a hospital in Germany where they can treat people with Oliver’s condition.

Later, Leanne and Steve facetime the doctor in Germany, but Steve is worried when Leanne downplays how seriously ill Oliver is. 

Steve is also concerned that the treatment will cost a whopping £500,000.

Why do the doctors suggest turning off Oliver’s life support?

First of all, the doctor breaks the news to Leanne and Steve that they’ve had to up Oliver’s sedation again as his seizures are getting out of control.

She explains that life support is the only thing keeping the youngster alive. 

Leanne and Steve hope for positive news when the consultant tells them that another specialist is coming over to assess Oliver and give a second opinion.

But their hopes and dreams are shattered when the specialist confirms that Oliver will never be able to breathe unaided and that it’s time to talk about switching off his life support.

What’s wrong with Oliver in Coronation Street?

Oliver was officially diagnosed with mitochondrial disease back in June after suffering from multiple seizures.

The incurable form of mitochondrial disease will eventually take Oliver’s life. 

The soap has been working closely with The Lily Foundation, a charity that supports families and funds medical research into mitochondrial disease, in order to ensure the storyline accurately portrays the experience of families with children affected by the disease.

Liz Curtis, CEO and co-founder of The Lily Foundation said: "All of us at The Lily Foundation are excited to be working with Coronation Street on a storyline about a child with a mitochondrial disorder, and grateful to the show for highlighting an issue that affects hundreds of families in the UK.

"For everyone who has worked hard for years to raise awareness about mitochondrial diseases, in particular for families living with a diagnosis and those who have lost a child, having their story told on one of the nation's most popular soap operas is truly momentous news.

"There is currently no cure for mitochondrial diseases, so those diagnosed face an uncertain future.

"We have been impressed with how sensitively the show's researchers and script writers have handled this, listening to those who have been affected by the disease and the doctors who support them.

"We see this as a very positive step in our ongoing fight to raise awareness about mitochondrial diseases, support affected families and fund research to find a cure."

What has soap boss Ian MacLeod said about the storyline?

Soap boss Ian MacLeod said of the storyline: “This is a story about a family coming to terms with the most difficult news anyone can face and the ways in which this strengthens and shatters relationships in unpredictable ways.

“We want to do justice to the stories of the many thousands of families who have to deal with diagnoses similar to Oliver’s, be it a mitochondrial disorder or another life-limiting condition.

"It is something that, as a society, we find difficult to talk about but which is all too common.

"The taboo around these illnesses can mean awareness is low, which means funding for research is low. Aside from telling a brilliant, moving and emotionally complex story, we really hope to draw attention to this subject to change this situation for the better."

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