Dominic Brunt’s real-life organ donation agony as baby son underwent life-or-death surgery

Character Paddy is facing the prospect of his baby dying

Next week Emmerdale viewers will watch as Paddy and Chas welcome their precious baby girl into the world, and then watch her die.

The couple decided to go through with the pregnancy, knowing their daughter would not live for long once born.

Paddy and Chas welcome their daughter next week (Credit: ITV)

And if actor Dominic Brunt’s performance as the heartbroken dad seems even more compelling than his usual excellent turn, he was drawing from some deep personal experience.

His son Danny was diagnosed with a heart condition at eight months old and had to undergo by-pass surgery.

Danny with his dad on Big Star’s Little Stars (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Emmerdale’s Lucy Pargeter reveals Chas’s baby’s death will surprise viewers 

Having been warned there was a chance their son might not make it through the operation, Dominic and his wife Joanne were asked if they would consider donating his organs.

They agreed.

Dominic recalls to the Mirror: “At the time it was horrific. You’re in the eye of the storm, it was horrible. You think you are going to lose your son.

“We had only just got to know him – he was eight months old, and we thought that was it.

“That was the worst bit – when they gave him the pre-meds and the gas and air and they took him out of the room and you just thought that was goodbye.

“We discussed organ donation. It was brought up by a nurse because there was a mortality rate with the ­operation.

“We had to discuss it, but even before that we’d all agreed to be donors in the family – my sisters are nurses so it was how we were brought up.”

Dominic and his wife Joanne faced an agonising decision (Credit: Wenn)

Read more: FIRST LOOK: Next week’s Emmerdale in 10 pictures 

Mercifully, it was a happy outcome for Dominic’s family and Danny is a healthy and happy eight-year-old boy.

Filming the current storyline naturally took its toll on Dominic, who has played vet Paddy since 1997.

“When we have had emotional stuff to film it was very hard to leave it behind, you can’t shake it. We aren’t going through it in real life, Imagine really going through it,” he adds.

“Firstly as an actor you want to get it right. You are honoured to be given that story, then on the flip-side you want to do it justice for the people who have been through it and you want to do it responsibly and carefully.”

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