OLIVER Battersby dies surrounded by his heartbroken family next week in Coronation Street as his liver fails.
Leanne Battersby – who is played by Jane Danson in the ITV soap – will eventually agree to drop her appeal to save Oliver after her solicitor Imran refuses to represent her.
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Viewers know that Steve and Leanne launched a legal battle last month to give them more time to find a cure for Oliver, who has been diagnosed with an incurable form of mitochondrial disease.
And Leanne refused to give up when the court ruled that Oliver’s life support should be switched off so that his suffering isn’t prolonged, and announced she wanted to launch an appeal.
Next week’s episodes of Coronation Street will see Leanne tell Imran that Steve is determined to stop her appeal to save Oliver.
Imran is lost for words when Leanne adds that she wants to sue the hospital for negligence and breaks the news to her that he and Elliot are no longer prepared to represent her.
Leanne resolves to find another lawyer to take over her case but struggles to find one when she phones around.
When Toyah tells Leanne that Imran found it really heard to reach his decision, Leanne accuses her of betraying her own sister.
Later in the week, Dr Howarth tells Steve and Leanne they’re running some blood tests and are concerned about Oliver’s liver function.
A desperate Leanne pushes her way into Imran’s office and begs him to help her with the case.
When Imran refuses, Leanne knocks over a filing cabinet and locks them in the room, demanding that Imran call Elliot.
It’s not long before Nick and Toyah arrive having been summoned by Imran, and beg Leanne to open the door.
Imran drags the cabinet out of the way and opens the door and Steve gently begs Leanne to let Oliver die.
Leanne tells Steve and Toyah that she’ll drop her appeal.
Leanne and Steve then prepare to say goodbye to their son, with Leanne insisting she needs to go home to get Oliver’s favourite pyjamas.
But once she’s home, Leanne admits to Nick that she can’t face going to the hospital to say goodbye to her son.
With some persuasion from Nick, Leanne finally makes it to the hospital.
Viewers will see Steve and Leanne sitting at Oliver’s bedside singing ‘You are my Sunshine’.
As the singing stops, it’s clear Oliver has died.
Speaking to What’s On TV, actress Jane Danson – who plays Leanne – said she is ‘proud’ of the storyline.
She explained: "From a creative point of view, I’ll probably never get a story as strong and as powerful as this again. It has been such a gift of a story to explore, and an honour to be trusted with something so delicate."
She added: "In terms of logistics [because of the pandemic], it has been quite difficult, working in a way in which we can’t have physical contact, and can’t have children on set as much as we’d like. So that has been hard, but we have got used to it.
“Being in a hospital for 12 hours a day, talking about a dying child, is pretty heavy, but we’ve balanced it with lighter moments.
"We’ve all tackled this knowing that it’s a real story that happens to real families, so we owe it to them to tell it as truthfully as we can.
“Obviously, we’ve had the twisty soap elements mixed in, but in terms of a story about Oliver’s illness, we’re really proud of what we’ve been able to do during such strange times.”
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