Emmerdale had viewers in tears last night when dementia sufferer Ashley Thomas went missing.
The episode was highly charged right from the start as Ashley returned to the Dales to spend some time with his family.
Read more: Is this the end for Ashley as he falls ill?
It was Sandy’s birthday and Bob Hope brought him home for the day. It started off well as Ashley began to recognise his old things and we had a glimpse of the man he was.
He then changed into his cassock and asked when they were leaving for the church service.
He shared a touching moment with his children, Arthur and Gabby, as he struggled to remember the words to the Lord’s Prayer. This set fans off, with @DeniseAdkins1 saying on Twitter:
“Ashley and Arthur are breaking my heart”.
When Jimmy King and Bob took Ashley back to the care home, it was gut wrenching as the confused former vicar begged them not to leave him there.
And once they had left, he got up and wandered outside. Because he was still dressed in his cassock, he was let out without any quibbling as they thought he was a reverend visiting residents.
The moment Laurel received the call while a disorientated Ashley was walking around lost was just heartbreaking.
Taking to Twitter, @MsJulietJones wrote: “Dementia storyline in #Emmerdale is breaking my heart… The Dales just won’t be the same without Ashley [sic]”.
And @LauraLovatic agreed: “Watching Ashley reciting the Lord’s Prayer & Laurel mouthing the words @MissCBellamy @john_Middleton_ @emmerdale Heartbreaking/heartwarming”.
Dementia story line in #emmerdale is breaking my heart 🙁 The Dales just won't be the same without Ashley.
— Juliet Jones (@MsJulietJones) March 22, 2017
— Laura Lou (@LauraLovatic) March 22, 2017
Other users also expressed their emotions with @RyanHawleyFF saying: “This Ashley story is so real and truly heartbreaking… So sad that soon we won’t see @john_Middleton_ on #Emmerdale [sic]”.
And @sugdone added: “Ashley’s storyline is heartbreaking but it’s such an important one to tell and I’m so glad Emmerdale are telling it in such an honest way [sic]”.
“Oh Ashley… I have to keep telling myself it’s only acting, it’s not real whilst trying not to cry [sic]” tweeted @Foofoo_80s.
— Britt (@RyanHawleyFF) March 22, 2017
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It’s not likely to be long before we lose Ashley from our screens forever.
We think we’ll probably need more than one box of tissues for that episode.