After making the difficult decision to terminate their pregnancy because their baby was suffering a life-limiting condition, Zack Hudson and Whitney Dean will be left shaken next week when they learn their daughter’s existence isn’t legally recognised.
After weeks of tests, EastEnders residents Zack Hudson (played by James Farrar) and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) were given the devastating news their unborn baby had Edward’s Syndrome. This genetic condition begins to affect babies when they’re in the womb, and continues to impact their health throughout their life. After doctors advised their child wouldn’t survive, they made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy rather than watch their daughter suffer.
However, their suffering is far from over because they will learn that their daughter’s existence isn’t legally recognized in shocking scenes that will air next week.
Since there is no legal way to register a fetus under six months old in the UK, many stillbirths and medically necessary abortions go unrecorded.
The couple, who had bonded with their baby despite the devastating diagnosis, was shocked to learn this after the procedure since they had not been informed of it beforehand.
They debate leaving the infant, Peach, at the hospital in heartbreaking scenes.
This additional blow is extremely challenging for Zack, who is already having difficulty adjusting to his HIV diagnosis.
While seeking solace in the hospital’s prayer room, he becomes agitated by the expectant father’s casual demeanor after having his fatherhood aspirations dashed.
Whitney, who was initially opposed to spending time with Peach, is beginning to change her mind.
This enables the ex-couple and their daughter to share a special moment before they part ways.
Back on the Square, Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) thinks she knows a way to help Whitney through her grief.
Enlisting the help of the other residents she creates a condolence box for her to remember her daughter by.
But despite the kind gestures, Whitney continues to push people away as she struggles to come to terms with her baby’s death.
Having previously suffered a miscarriage in 2016, while married to Lee Carter (Danny Hatchard), this latest loss is very triggering for her.
Whitney ignores Chelsea’s attempts to communicate with her at home because she is uninterested.
Chelsea and Sonia are adamant about being there for her despite this.
Zack is also grieving in the meantime and feels abandoned by Whitney, despite the fact that he really wants to talk to her.
He seeks the counsel of his sister Sharon (Letitia Dean), who advises him to approach Whitney.
Later, he observes Whitney struggling with her feelings.
She accepts his invitation to Peggy’s because, unbeknownst to him, she also wants to speak with him.
But when he offers her some money, she is unimpressed, leaving him hurt.
Will their grief ultimately tear them apart as they try to navigate it?
EastEnders on BBC One has a scheduling shake-up this week due to the FA Cup. There will be a double episode on Monday at 7.30pm, Thursday night’s episode will broadcast at 7.30pm as usual and there will be an episode at 7.30pm on Friday.
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