This article contains discussion of terminal illness and brain tumours which some readers may find upsetting.


Lola Pearce-Brown (Danielle Harold) was baptised in moving EastEnders scenes tonight (24th May), but the mood was ruined by Ben Mitchell's (Max Bowden) destructive behaviour as he struggled to accept Lola's impending death.

Diagnosed with a brain tumour, Lola's condition is terminal and she now only has a matter of days to live. After returning home for end of life care, Lola had an uplifting chat with Reverend Irene Mills (Melanie Kilburn), and decided to be baptised as a comfort to her daughter Lexi (Isabella Brown), who wanted to be able to find her mum in heaven.

But Lexi's dad Ben was too busy trying to put off Lola's death, even as everyone around him pointed out that nothing more could be done.

Ben's mum Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) ordered him to attend Lola's ceremony that day, but Ben upset Lola and ended up in a row with Billy (Perry Fenwick) when he accused him of giving up on her.

Fuming, Billy remarked that Ben had no idea what Lola had asked him to do - referring to Lola's secret wish to die on her own terms.

Lola had since changed her mind, but when her husband Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) confronted Ben for shouting at Honey (Emma Barton), the truth came out.

Lola's baptism was held with Lexi, Jay, Billy, Honey and Ben's husband Callum Highway (Tony Clay) in attendance, and we later saw Lola talking Lexi through what would happen next as she grew weaker in health.

Lola insisted that she could wait a very long time for her in heaven, and Lexi touchingly revealed that when she had her own daughter one day, she would tell her all about Lola.

Over at The Arches, Ben's father Phil (Steve McFadden) eventually got through to Ben. Phil explained that he wished he had had the courage to help his own unwell mum Peggy (Barbara Windsor) to die when she asked.

Ben then made his way to see Lola to apologise, with Lexi telling him that he, Callum and Jay needed to be baptised so that they could all be together.

But after leaving the house, Ben made a call, asking to speak to Dr Washington as he needed to ensure that Lola would live longer. Will Ben realise that he's fighting a tragically losing battle?

For information, help and support on matters associated with Lola's storyline, head to Macmillan Cancer Support or Brain Tumour Research.

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