At first fearing the cancer had returned, medical staff explained to distraught Debbie and scared Sarah how a rare side effect of the chemotherapy she’s had is a weakening of the heart. This has led to heart failure, where the heart struggles to pump blood around the body properly to maintain vital functions. While there is no cure as such, long-term treatment and medication can ensure the heart has support to get it working better.
Brave Sarah has already suffered a number of health worries in her young life, with parents Debbie and Andy Sudgen conceiving ‘saviour sibling’ Jack to provide life-saving bone marrow for a transplant when she developed leukaemia at the age of seven.
Last year she underwent pioneering treatment in Prague for throat cancer, and when she collapsed yesterday after struggling to breath having failed to outrun the police who caught her joyriding, Debbie was immediately convinced the cancer had returned.
But now the family are facing a new fight for Sarah’s life – what can doctors do to battle the condition? Will she need an operation or have treatment for the rest of her life? Having ended their relationship because of Sarah’s disapproval, will Joe Tate be able to comfort Debbie? Or will she turn to old flame Ross Barton in her hour of need?
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