Soaps

Child deaths soaps have bravely tackled before as Coronation Street toddler Oliver dies

There have been quite a few child deaths in soaps over the years

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In tonight’s Coronation Street (Friday, November 27) viewers will certainly be moved by devastating scenes as Oliver Batttersby dies.

Coronation Street – Oliver Battersby dies

Earlier this year the three year old was diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease.

He has been on life support for the past few months. Recently his mum Leanne and dad Steve realised there is no hope of recovery for their son.

They had to face every parent’s worst nightmare and turn off Oliver’s life support machine.

Oliver dies in tonight’s Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)

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The scenes left characters and viewers devastated. But sadly Oliver isn’t the first child in a soap to die.

It’s one of the most difficult events that people have to face in real life – and so important that TV gets it right.

Coronation Street – Ruairi McDonald

Ruairi is Oliver’s half-brother (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Three years ago, Oliver’s half-brother Ruairi died after being born prematurely.

Back in 2017, Steve McDonald slept with Leanne Battersby after a fight with his wife Michelle Connor.

Both women ended up falling pregnant around the same time. But in tragic scenes, Michelle ended up giving birth prematurely to her son.

The little boy, who Michelle and Steve named Ruairi, died moments after his birth.

Just a few weeks later, Leanne gave birth to Oliver. Michelle paid her friend and newborn son a visit, completely unaware he was Steve’s child.

Shortly after Oliver’s birth, Steve told Michelle that Oliver was his son and she was devastated.

EastEnders – Dennis Rickman Jr

Dennis died earlier this year (Credit: BBC)

Dennis Rickman Jr was just 13 years old when he died in EastEnders.

The teenager perished during the soap’s 35th anniversary week, following a boat crash on the River Thames.

Earlier that week Ian Beale had discovered Dennis was bullying his son Bobby Beale online. The online hate led to Bobby being badly beaten and needing surgery.

Ian and Dennis were both on the boat that was holding a party for The Queen Vic. When Ian got his hands on Dennis, he locked him in a room on the boat of the lower deck, intending to take him to the police when they docked.

But a scrap between Phil Mitchell and Keanu Taylor caused the boat to crash.

As the boat began taking on water, Ian rushed to try and save Dennis. While he managed to get him out of the room, a surge of water through the boat caused Dennis to drown.

Emmerdale – Daniel Thomas

Daniel died in 2008 (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

In 2007 Laurel gave birth to a baby boy.

Laurel and Ashley took their son Daniel home. But six month later in February 2008, Laurel found Daniel not breathing in his cot.

Paramedics arrived but he was pronounced dead. However a doctor told Laurel and Ashley that their blood types weren’t compatible with Daniel’s.

It was later revealed Daniel wasn’t Laurel and Ashley’s biological son. There had been a mix-up at the hospital and Daniel was the biological son of Greg and Melanie Doland.

The couple had been raising Ashley and Laurel’s biological son, who they called Arthur. Later the couple had to hand Arthur over to Laurel and Ashley.

Brookside – Imelda

In 2002, Anthony Murray had been bullied by Imelda. One day, she followed him out of school and chased him into the woods.

She pinned him against a tree and demanded his money. But Anthony fought back and the two began scrapping.

The fight went into a nearby pond and as Anthony pushed Imelda, she hit her head on a rock.

The school girl continued to fight back, but Anthony pushed her head under water and she eventually drowned.

Anthony admitted what he did and went on trial for her murder. He was accused of luring her into the woods but he did receive a not guilty verdict.

Coronation Street – Katie McDonald

Liz and Jim were devastated by Katie’s death (Credit: Shutterstock/ITV)

On New Year’s Eve, a pregnant Liz McDonald went into labour while looking for her son Steve, who had gone missing.

Liz gave birth to a daughter on New Year’s Day 1992. However as Katie was born prematurely, she had to be placed into an incubator.

Liz and Jim were told their daughter’s chances weren’t looking good and sadly she died the next day.

EastEnders – James Branning Jr

Ronnie’s son James died and she swapped him with Tommy Moon (Credit: BBC)

On December 30 2010, Ronnie Mitchell have birth to a son, James Branning Jr.

The next day, Ronnie brought her newborn son home but, later that day, she discovered James had died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

This led to one of EastEnders’ most controversial storylines.

She slipped into the back of The Queen Vic and swapped James with Kat Moon’s son, Tommy Moon, who was born the same day as James.

Kat found who she thought was Tommy in his cot unresponsive and believed her son had died.

Over the next few months, James was presumed to be Tommy and was buried as such.

In 2011, Ronnie finally admitted what she did and was arrested and Tommy was reunited with Kat.

Brookside – Matthew and Emily Farnham

Read more: Coronation Street: Who is Annie Walker? What happened to the Rovers’ first on-screen landlady

In April 1997 siblings Matthew and Emily died in a car crash. Mum Susannah was driving when the two children began arguing.

Emily took off her seatbelt to climb into the front. But Matthew tried to stop her. As Susannah tried to calm her kids, she ended up going into another car.

Susannah survived but as the kids had taken their seatbelts off, Matthew had gone through the windshield and died. Meanwhile Emily died in the backseat.

The death of the kids left their parents Max and Susannah devastated.

A funeral was held for the two later that month.

Emmerdale – Gemma Andrews

Gemma died after hitting her head on a rock (Credit: ITV/Shuttertock)

In March 2014, teenager Gemma Andrews died after an argument with her best friend Belle.

The two girls had been to a party. But Gemma was jealous when she saw Belle getting close to Sean Spencer and stormed out.

Belle followed Gemma and tried to reason with her but the two girls got into an argument.

After Gemma slapped Belle, Belle pushed her best friend. Gemma fell down and hit her head on a rock.

Immediately Belle tried to help her, but Gemma got up and told her to leave her alone.

Gemma walked off but on her way home she collapsed and was found the next day by Harriet Finch. She was rushed to hospital.

After an operation, her dad Dom was told Gemma was brain stem dead and wouldn’t recover. Dom had to make the devastating decision to turn off his daughter’s life support.

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