Spoilers: Leanne makes a huge breakthrough over Oliver's death news in Corrie

Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) is going through a traumatic time right now following the harrowing news that her son Oliver is terminally ill with mitochondrial disease in Coronation Street. Understandably, the distraught mum is struggling to cope with such a devastating turn of events and initially finds herself in denial over Oliver’s condition.

But as she determines that she can be the only one to be there for her son through this, she starts lashing out at those closest to her as they try to help – but will a breakthrough from Toyah (Georgia Taylor) and her friend Josie help Leanne to start to process her horrific situation.

The week starts with Leanne being on edge with Oliver staying with dad Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) and she ends up heading over at the crack of down in her pyjamas and a stressed state. Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) manages to stop her and assures her Oliver is safe with Steve and she needs rest too.


Dr Gaddas concurs and is keen for Leanne to have some therapy to help her cope and also suggests a prescription of medication but Leanne angrily refuses and wants to focus on Oliver.

When Toyah then comes over to try and support her, Leanne pushes her away and snaps, telling her that she can never understand how she feels.

As Toyah tries to calmly diffuse the situation, Leanne takes all of her pain out on her sister with some shocking comments which leave her in tears and when Leanne is left alone, she breaks down, in agony.

Toyah forgives her when she apologises and she and Nick try to get her on board with the idea of attending a support group for parents who have children with terminal illness.

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.

Toyah knows the group leader Josie and brings her round to see Leanne, who is initially defensive but when Josie starts relaying her own tragic story, Leanne finds herself slowly letting her guard down and finding some understanding from someone who knows her pain.

Can Josie help Leanne to process Oliver’s fate and regain control of a situation that is ripping her life apart?

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