Hollyoaks‘ Lily McQueen will be killed off when the character dies from sepsis as a result of her self-harming addiction, with actress Lauren McQueen confirmed as leaving the role.
Lily’s struggle with self-harm has been a long-term storyline for the show and reaches a tragic conclusion in an emotional episode airing on E4 on Wednesday 10 April as part of a dramatic week focusing on the award-winning plot.
Realising she needs professional help, Lily admits herself to a mental health facility but chooses to flee with boyfriend Romeo Quinn (Owen Warner) when he is forced to go on the run to escape being wrongfully jailed for the murder of Mac Nightingale.
As Lily’s family grow frantic with worry, doctors warn them she has contracted blood-poisoning disease sepsis from the wounds were she has cut herself and is in desperate need of treatment as test results show it is spreading to her organs and could have fatal consequences.
Aunt and uncle Diane and Tony Hutchinson, along with ex-husband Prince, desperately search for missing Lily who grows increasingly weak as she and Romeo plan to escape. By the time they catch up with her, Lily has deteriorated and she succumbs to sepsis…
How does the actress who plays Lily feel about leaving?
Speaking of her alter ego’s tragic exit, McQueen, who first appeared on screen in January 2017, says: “I was honoured to be given such a huge story that carried a lot of responsibility. Even though it was challenging and emotional I really hope I did it justice. I hope it raises awareness to the audience of how serious self-harm is, and that the consequences can be life-threatening.
“Sepsis is actually very common, which many people may not what the symptoms are, and it’s something that needs to be treated very quickly. I hope this opens up conversations and encourages people to talk and get help if they relate to Lily.”
During the special week of episodes, spoken word poetry specially written by poet Hussain Manawer will be heard over Lily’s emotional scenes. Hollyoaks researchers have also worked with charity UK Sepsis Trust on the episodes: “This storyline highlights how potentially devastating sepsis can be,” says Dr Ron Daniels, CEO of the organisation. “Although cases like Lily’s only represent around 10% of incidences of sepsis, the ‘killer condition’ can arise from any infection and strikes indiscriminately, affecting the previously fit and healthy.
“The key to ending preventable deaths is awareness, and we’re grateful to Hollyoaks for helping to raise the profile of a condition that affects so many and yet is still so poorly recognised.”
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