The life of Coronation Street youngster Jack Webster will be put on the line this summer when he contracts sepsis. Kevin’s seven-year-old son will develop the blood infection after cutting his knee while playing football. Initially, Jack will be seen being sent from hospital after suffering a scrape. But after becoming increasingly more ill, he’ll be rushed back to Weatherfield General and sedated, so that his organs can be supported.
Show bosses have revealed that Kevin will “be faced with a difficult decision that no parent should have to make” as he agonises over whether to agree to an amputation in order to save Jack’s life.
Figures released today by the UK Sepsis Trust reveal that 44,000 people are killed by sepsis every year, with a further 60,000 suffering permanent life-changing after effects. Dr Ron Daniels BEM, chief executive, commented: “Stories like Jack’s are all too familiar and remind us of the devastating human cost of sepsis. Individuals and families have their lives torn apart by the condition –more people than breast, bowel, prostate cancer and road accidents combined. Better awareness could save thousands of lives each year.
“We have been working very closely with Coronation Street both with the writers and the technical team over the last few months to ensure that the subject matter is dealt with both accurately and sensitively. It’s incredible that Coronation Street is raising the profile of a condition which affects so many people, and yet until now has been so poorly recognised.
“It’s about shared responsibility and, together, we aim to empower both families and health professionals to ‘think sepsis’ and to change the way sepsis is handled in the UK.”
The Coronation Street storyline comes in the wake of two high-profile shows also featuring characters contracting sepsis: Nurse Barbara Hereward in BBC1’s Call the Midwife and Nic Grundy in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news