LEANNE Battersby and Steve McDonald's worlds came crashing down as their son Oliver was diagnosed with an incurable form of mitochondrial disease.
But is Oliver going to die? Here’s everything you need to know about his illness…
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What’s wrong with Oliver in Coronation Street?
Leanne and Steve’s worlds crumbled back in June when Oliver was officially diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
The doctor had warned that the toddler might have the disease after he was rushed into hospital in April after suffering from multiple seizures, but Leanne and Steve had remained in denial about his possible illness.
Following Oliver’s official diagnosis, Leanne remained in denial and demanded a second opinion from another doctor.
The struggling mum will be left overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame this week on Corrie when she ends up lying about Oliver’s illness to an old friend.
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."
Is Oliver Battersby going to die in Corrie?
The incurable form of mitochondrial disease will eventually take Oliver’s life.
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."
How is Oliver's dad Steve affected in Coronation Street?
Next week’s episodes of Corrie will see Steve reach breaking point as he struggles to cope with Oliver’s diagnosis.
The grieving father stages a protest in the cafe to fight back against vegetarian day when Nina refuses to serve him a sausage bun.
Leanne is horrified to stumble upon Steve making such a scene in the cafe, and takes him back to hers where she tells him he can talk to her about anything.
How is Leanne’s sister Toyah affected by Oliver’s diagnosis?
Viewers watched Toyah and Imran put their fostering plans on hold back in June as the news of Oliver’s illness reached them.
But when Toyah finally built up the courage to tell Leanne that she and Imran had been hoping to foster several weeks back, her sister was quick to tell her to go for it and that she has her blessing.
Spoilers have revealed that Toyah will meet up with her social worker next week, who promises to put the fostering wheels in motion once she’s received the reference from Leanne.
Will everything go to plan?
Speaking about how Leanne and Oliver’s tragic storyline involves Toyah, actress Leanne actress Jane Danson told Metro.co.uk: "I know what’s coming up – there are massive stories come out of this that I’m less a part of.
"It’s structured so well. It’s so hard to watch but we can’t push it too long as it’s a lot to take in – we were right in the middle when we finished so I am looking forward to exploring the journey further. I want to get our heads down and get on with it.
"Toyah will be without a doubt Leanne’s biggest rock. It’s lovely for Georgia too as we’ve both been quiet before this. The characters are so different but there’s this massive bond.
"Toyah’s the gentler one and Leanne’s the stroppy one! We have always loved that about them but they absolutely love each other. We’re so lucky to get on the way we do."
She added: "Toyah becomes a huge part of this – and this opens up another big story for her which will be well explored. It is a massive involvement – which is great."
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