Coronation Street has highlighted the tricky life of David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) for over 20 years. Be it the trouble he would get himself into when he was young, his feud with Gary Windass (Mikey North) or the revenge he planned on Clayton Hibbs (Callum Harrison).
Whatever’s going on with David, we can always count on someone to help him fix his problems, but David’s recent challenge in the form of helping his wife Shona Ramsey (Julia Goulding) deal with her memory loss after she was shot is something David is having to deal with on his own.
Roy (David Neilson), Sarah (Tina O’Brien) and other Weatherfield residents have helped to look after Shona, but the only person who can help Shona remember what life was like being in a relationship with David – is David!
A long road is ahead for the both of them, and we’ve been taking a look at David and Shona’s history, what’s to come, and why they’ll never be the same again.
Shona’s life has changed forever, but also so has David’s. The two of them are soulmates and are both as determined as each other to get back to ‘normal’, so it means this grown-up, caring, calmer side to David is certainly a far cry from how he used to be. We are really seeing how much Shona means to David during this storyline, and the dynamic between him and the now extremely straightforward Shona makes this a brilliant narrative to watch.
While it came as a bit of a shock to viewers that Shona couldn’t remember her life on the cobbles, putting Shona back to this stage in her life, as opposed to square one (back when we first met her in 2016), was absolutely the right thing to do.
It would leave some viewers frustrated if we were watching the whole of Shona’s life play out again, and show boss Iain MacLeod even told us how he wanted the storyline ‘to be unusual and [have] two people falling in love together again after becoming strangers’.
Resetting Julia’s character back to this stage allows Shona time to develop more on the Street. If the show gave Shona such a storyline where we would have to watch her character from the very start, that would mean we’d have to have the repetition of: meeting David, Clayton kidnapping her and discovering David was raped. Something of which could be interesting to watch play out in some parts, but ultimately repeating Shona’s whole life again just really isn’t needed.
Speaking of all that has happened, David and Shona are in a really fortunate position right now, all of the spare time they’ve had during lockdown has allowed them to get to know each other even more, and has given David the perfect opportunity to get to know his wife again, without the worry of telling her about the events that have already happened since they first met.
This week, we saw David face another hurdle with looking after Max (Harry McDermott), Lily (Brooke Malonie) and spending time with Shona. After David left Shona with Lily, things took a dangerous turn when a game of hide and seek went wrong, and Lily disappeared. Understandably, this made David worry Shona would never return to normal and in some respects, he’s right:
Luke Griggs, Deputy Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association, said: “
An acquired brain injury can often lead to a range of complex and fluctuating effects that can significantly impact the lives of survivors and their families. These effects can often be hidden, making it harder to people to receive the help, support and understanding they need.
“Problems with memory are common after brain injury, whether it is difficulties with ‘working memory’, for example retaining basic information, or the ability to recall significant life events that occurred before the injury. Memory problems can cause practical and emotional challenges, which can be exacerbated by a lack of understanding of the challenges being faced.
“Personality change is also not uncommon, with around three quarters of survivors saying they feel like ‘a new person’ following their brain injury. People living with brain injury can also experience behavioural effects, including difficulty controlling anger, loss of empathy, impulsiveness and disinhibition, that is loss of control over behaviour, which can result in socially inappropriate behaviour.
“The effects of brain injury can transform entire families in an instant. While individuals living with brain injury need help to relearn lost skills, regain a degree of independence and rebuild their lives, families equally need support to adjust to life after brain injury. With the right help, at the right time, there can be life after brain injury.”
So while David expresses his concern that his wife may not be the same again, there is proof that a brain injury doesn’t mean the end of someone’s life and, in Shona’s case, the end of her relationship with David. The two of them are able to work around these challenges and coming up this week when Ray Crosby (Mark Frost) offers to put them up at one of his hotels after a sinkhole appears in the Platt’s garden, the extra spare time they’ll have will no doubt help to build their connection again.
From what we learnt from the charity Headway, Shona’s brain injury has transformed hers and David’s lives and it’s clear their marriage will never be the same as what it once was – Shona’s changed, and David is changing as a result of adjusting to his wife’s new personality and traits.
Plenty of couples in Weatherfield have been tested over the years, and many of them separate as a result of the challenges they face. But what’s different here is that David and Shona’s relationship can survive this, it is simply just a case of getting to know each other again, and getting to know the newer versions of themselves too.
For more information and support on life after brain injuries, visit https://www.headway.org.uk/
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