Coronation Street fans have been left heartbroken, after it was confirmed that young Oliver Battersby has suffered brain damage.
Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson) and Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) were brought into Dr Ward’s (Zitta Sitar) office after worrying that their son was struggling to focus on anything.
After conducting some tests, Dr Ward invited Leanne and Steve into the office, where she informed them that Oliver’s trouble focusing is a result of damage caused to the brain following his prolonged seizure.
Given that they don’t yet have a definitive diagnosis yet — although Dr Ward does think he might have mitochondrial disease — it’s hard to make predictions, but she reiterated that Oliver might not get back to where was developmentally.
While Leanne is determined to stay positive, Dr Ward confirmed there’s a high chance the damage will be permanent.
‘Poor, poor Oliver,’ another wrote, while one more said: ‘Omg this is breaking my heart. I can’t believe that Oliver might have permanent brain damage.’
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.
‘Oliver’s storyline is already so heartbreaking,’ another pointed out.
Corrie boss Iain MacLeod previously opened up about Oliver being diangosed with mitochondrial disease, telling Metro.co.uk the storyline will be ‘multifaceted’ and aims to ‘draw attention to families’ struggles’ with the relatively common disease.
He said: ‘The fundamental component is Leanne’s love for her son and willingness to move mountains to save him.
‘It’s really passionate and heartfelt, the cast are right behind it. Jane has been talking to charity partners about how Leanne is feeling she wants to get it right. We all do.’
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