The Carter clan is to be left reeling next week when they learn that a sick baby Ollie could have brain damage.
Mick and Linda’s son will be rushed to hospital after he has a seizure at home, with doctors then informing the family that he has bleeding in his brain, likely to be caused by a severe blow to the head.
With the root of the injury being Ollie’s recent topple from his high chair, it isn’t long before Mick is privately blaming Nancy, whose argument with Lee led directly to the fall.
So will the Carters be able to weather this latest storm? Or is the crisis going to tear them apart? Here, Kellie Bright gives her take on what lies ahead for Linda and her nearest and dearest:
So, tell us what happens when Ollie is caught up in Lee and Nancy’s argument?
Yes, Lee and Nancy get in a fight and Ollie ends up being knocked over in his high chair and bumps his head. By the time Mick and Linda get there, he’s very calm and there’s no sign of anything serious – he seems fine in himself.
It’s important to remember Linda is a parent of four children, she’s not a first-time mum. She’s the one saying we need to not overreact and I also don’t think she wants any more upset in the home. It’s all very explosive at The Vic at that time and she just wants to keep the peace and not make an issue. But essentially Ollie is fine after his fall – he eats his dinner and takes his milk. The fact is they weren’t actually there so it’s very hard to know how bad the fall was – Mick and Linda didn’t see it. They didn’t see how serious it was.
Are Mick and Linda quick to point the blame at Lee and Nancy?
Linda defends them right from the beginning because ultimately it was an accident and that’s her take on it. She feels that it’s nobody’s fault and that they can’t blame one of the children for it. She knows Lee and Nancy are feeling terrible and it’s not like they’re vindictive young people. They are devastated that this has happened.
Linda is sensitive to this and she’s the mother to all of them. She wants all of her children to be OK and if anything she’s quick to blame herself. At the hospital, she actually turns round and says to Mick that they as parents should have bought him in sooner and that they are the mum and the dad. But Mick maybe doesn’t feel quite the same and Linda perhaps feels like he’s blaming her at first.
So what’s going through Linda’s mind when she finds that Ollie isn’t breathing?
I think Linda felt how I would. You have to kick yourself and detach yourself emotionally from what’s going on. She has got to deal with what’s going on. There’s no room to panic or cry or shout and scream – she has to get it done. She suddenly switches from being quite paralysed by the situation to actually being assertive and I think that would be true.There’s that natural parenting instinct when you will do what has to be done to ultimately make your child survive. She just has to do it. She removed herself from the situation, she’s just doing what she needs to do.
How are Mick and Linda feeling when they get to the hospital?
They’re terrified. He stopped breathing and then started having a seizure. They’re very confused. Their initial thought is that it could be epilepsy because they have a child who has that condition and they’re very familiar with it. Part of them are thinking that’s what it could be, but I don’t think they have any sense of the severity of what’s about to come. They just think he wasn’t breathing, but now he is and there’s almost a relief. He’s in safe hands and it’s going to be fine. I don’t think for one second it even crosses their minds that it’s this bad.
So how does Linda react when doctors tell her that Ollie could have brain damage?
It comes in stages. The moment they realise it could be something to do with the fall is when things start to fall apart for them. They immediately start questioning why they didn’t bring him sooner and feel guilty. But then this next wave of information comes that he could have brain damage – and then they learn that he might not get better.
So all the way along she’s having to react to each thing. I think it’s about as devastating as it could get for them. Accidents by their very nature are the sort of things in life that just pull the rug from under you – you’re happily going along and everything is fine and all of a sudden your life is turned upside down. Your whole life changes in a heartbeat. I know Linda goes through massive denial. She won’t believe it and is adamant they are making a mistake.
It’s a lot to come to terms with. How will she cope with all of this? It feels like it’s a storyline that will keep developing. The initial impact is what it is, but the repercussions could go on for ever and ever.
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