Debbie Dingle’s ordeal continues in Emmerdale next week as dying daughter Sarah Sugden refuses to have the heart transplant operation that could save her life – and blames meddling granny Faith Dingle for influencing the little girl into stopping further treatment.
“Unfortunately this is Faith’s fault, in a way,” reveals Sally Dexter, who plays Debbie’s gobby grandmother. “Sarah overhears her talking to Diane and Joe about her medical situation, and Faith was feeling disheartened and was not very encouraging about her prospects. But because she is so worried about her Sarah, Faith just didn’t dare to have any hope at that point.”
Sarah believing there’s no point in the procedure leads to a rift among the Dingles as Debbie rails at Faith for making the sickly teenager give up and accept her fate, while heart failure takes hold and surgery becomes increasingly necessary for her survival – despite the risks involved.
Dexter insists Faith accepts responsibility for her faux pas, but the damage is already done. “Debbie is absolutely furious with Faith and and knows Sarah is only refusing the operation because of what she heard her say. Faith would do anything to help her granddaughter, even though she didn’t mean to she knows she’s really put her foot in it this time.
“She needs to do something very dramatic, very quickly to shake Sarah out of her gloom-laden state. So Faith comes up with quite an extraordinary plan and whisks her out of the hospital, with her drip still in, to show her life is worth living…”
The plan is fraught with jeopardy, and Cain’s well-meaning mum could be putting the patient in even more danger, but it’s a typical way for force-of-nature Faith to try and correct her mistakes. “Faith has faith!” laughs Dexter. “She is optimistic this will work, Faith doesn’t do things by discipline and authority but she knows how to keep people’s spirits up, but if this won’t change Sarah’s mind to have the operation, nothing can.
“However, if she can’t convince her than she would never be able to forgive herself – and Debbie wouldn’t, either.”
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