EastEnders spoilers see Whitney Dean’s baby diagnosed with Edwards’ SyndromeJanuary 26, 2023
EastEnders has announced a powerful new storyline surrounding Whitney Dean and Zack Hudson's baby.
The duo, who are played by Shona McGarty and James Farrar respectively, will be told by doctors that their baby has been diagnosed with Edwards' Syndrome.
The testing plot will see the expecting parents faced with a difficult future for their family and a number of decisions will be made as they go along their journey.
The BBC soap, which is well-known for tackling real-life issues that families go through, have also chosen to work with a number of charities on the new story.
It begins when Whitney and Zack attend what they believe to be a routine ultrasound scan for their baby in February.
Instead of happy news, the excited parents learn that their unborn baby has a birth defect, and are told by doctors to get more tests.
EastEnders bosses are working closely with SOFT UK and Antenatal Results and Choices on the hard-hitting storyline.
Determined to accurately portray the experience of receiving such a diagnosis, and the impact it has on both the parents and their families, they will also aim to sensitively portray the decision-making process.
Whitney and Zack may be faced with the prospect of choosing whether to terminate the pregnancy.
Executive producer Chris Clenshaw shared: "It was imperative for us to work alongside Antenatal Results and Choices and SOFT UK to accurately present, and sensitively portray, such an emotional storyline that many parents may relate to.
"Shona and James’ performances have thoughtfully portrayed the realities of the diagnosis and the decision making process with compassion and understanding.
"We hope that this story resonates with the audience, and that we represent it as sensitively, and as accurately as possible," he added.
The Chair of SOFT UK, Jan Fowler, also said the charity was "pleased" to be able to work with the hugely-popular soap.
The charity supports families both impacted by Edwards' or Patau's Syndrome, and were keen to discuss how the soap could approach the story in an "accurate and sensitive way".
"Around three in every 10,000 births in the UK are affected by Edwards' syndrome each year and many parents contact SOFT for help," Jan explained. "We provide parents with comprehensive advice and support whether they decide to end their pregnancy or to continue.
"We also support families whose living children have Edwards’ or Patau’s."
Jane Fisher, Director at Antenatal Results and Choices also said: “At ARC we hear daily from expectant parents dealing with the shock of being told their baby is not developing as expected, as is sadly the case for those who receive an Edwards’ Syndrome diagnosis.
"This is a distressing and often isolating time for expectant parents as they try and navigate their next steps in a state of emotional turmoil and it’s rarely spoken about.
"Well done EastEnders for tackling this difficult subject and we are pleased they involved us to help them treat the storyline with such sensitivity and compassion," Jane added.
EastEnders continues Friday at 8pm on BBC One
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