EastEnders: Abi to die next week – how will Max and Lauren cope?

The Brannings prepare for her life support to be turned off

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The fate of EastEnders’ Abi Branning is set to be decided next week when the hospital prepare to turn her life support off. As reality hits the devastated family, how will they deal with the inevitable tragedy?

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Since Branning sisters Abi and Lauren plunged from the Queen Vic roof on that rainy Christmas night, Abi has not regained consciousness and was declared brain dead by doctors days after being admitted.

Max refuses to accept his daughter’s fate and has exhausted all avenues, from second opinions to medical negligence lawsuits, before taking doctors’ advice and switching off the machines that are keeping her alive.

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Next week, the family are told again nothing more can be done for ailing Abi and frustrated Lauren gets tough with her dad as Max insists there must still be a way to save his daughter – and resorts to desperate measures…

With the situation threatening to get out of control at the hospital in Tuesday’s episode, a nurse intervenes and shares her own experiences with Max, which eventually calms the bereft Mr Branning down.

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But there’s more misery on Thursday when Max takes delivery of a package for his dying daughter – a cot for her newborn baby, ordered before the accident.

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Throwing himself into building the flatpack furniture, manic Max is on a mission as he clings to hope that if he can build the cot for Abi’s tiny daughter then maybe Abs herself will pull through.

Consumed by grief, Max finishes assembling the cot only to lash out and smash it to pieces… as Dot returns to the Square to support her family, can she get through to her stepson?

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On Friday the Brannings are summoned to the hospital for the moment they’ve been dreading – it’s time to switch off Abi’s life support.

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Can Lauren and the rest of the clan force Max to let Abi go? Will the beleaguered Brannings manage to pull together or end up torn further apart? And with Lauren’s exit also looming, is there more high drama ahead for the family?

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You can watch our exclusive Week in Walford review show below plus a rundown of next week on EastEnders, and visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.