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12 November 2020, 11:57
What is wrong with Steve and Leanne's son Oliver in Corrie? And what is mitochondrial disease? Here's what we know...
Coronation Street previously confirmed a devastating diagnosis for Steve and Leanne's son Oliver Battersby.
After the toddler was rushed to hospital while suffering another seizure, doctors are left to tell Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) and Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) some bad news.
But what is wrong with Oliver in Coronation Street? Here’s what we know…
Back in June, Leanne and Steve found out their son Oliver had an incurable form of mitochondrial disease.
Following another seizure, the parents, and their partners Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) and Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford), waited desperately for news about Ollie's condition.
The three-year-old had been suffering from mysterious seizures, and after a series of tests, doctors are set to confirm his rare condition - mitochondrial disease.
Dr Ward then told a devastated Leanne and Steve that it was likely to be a genetic disease, and they would have to run tests on the family.
However, some fans pointed out that Nick previously had a series of seizures himself and questioned whether he could be Ollie's real dad.
Also known as ‘mito’, the condition occurs when there are mutations in the tiny organelles within cells.
This then does not allow the cells to function properly and they cannot produce enough energy, which will lead to ‘blackouts’ in some areas.
The disorder can cause hearing loss, seizures, respiratory and vision issues, cognitive disabilities and specific malfunctions in the heart, brain, gut, liver and skin.
Corrie producer Iain MacLeod recently revealed that his team worked closely with The Lily Foundation, a charity that supports families and funds medical research into mitochondrial disease.
Leanne actress Jane said: "I've also read a lot of literature about how families cope around their children's diagnosis with life limiting illnesses, looking at the human elements to their stories amidst all the medical speak and hoping I can get it right.
"It is quite overwhelming, I've been so lucky to have so many stories with Leanne over the last 20-odd years but this one feels different, this one could really break her and it feels like it's the one where I've got the most responsibility to get it right."
Iain MacLeod added: "Above all, we wanted 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.
"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."
Mitochondrial disease will eventually take Oliver’s life.
Ian previously opened up about the sad storyline, saying he wants to raise awareness and help families who are affected.
“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," he said.
“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."