Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson) was left fearing the worst in Coronation Street, as she headed into Dr Ward’s (Zita Sattar) office to learn more about Oliver’s diagnosis.
With Oliver having enjoyed a visit to the petting zoo earlier this week, Leanne was optimistic that he was showing signs of improvement.
As a result, Steve (Simon Gregson) decided to book a trip to Cornwall for the whole family — commenting that it’s good for them to have something to look forward to.
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.
While Leanne was initially apprehensive about Oliver going on such a trip, she came to believe that perhaps it might not be such a bad idea.
They later arrived at the doctors for an appointment regarding Oliver, but Dr Ward insisted that it would be for the best for Oliver to wait with one of the nurses rather than come in.
Leanne revealed that she believed her son was improving, but Dr Ward simply asked them to come into her office — something which left both she and Steve fearing the worst.
In the next episode, Leanne and Steve are devastated, as Dr Ward confirms that Oliver has an incurable form of mitochondrial disease.
With Leanne refusing to believe such a thing, she demands a second opinion.
Speaking about Leanne’s reaction, actress Jane Danson said: ‘When they’re told about mitochondrial disease that’s when it really hits home.’
‘Leanne wants a second opinion, other people try to point out they’ve had that from the hospital but she won’t take no for an answer, she wants to try a different hospital.
Coronation Street continues Monday 29 June at 7:30pm on ITV.Follow us: