Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) faced distressing news in tonight's emotional EastEnders (1st February), as a doctor informed her that her unborn baby may not survive.


The character, who has endured plenty of trauma and heartbreak already, is expecting a baby with Zack Hudson (James Farrar). But she's had to cope with impending motherhood without his support, as Zack walked away amid his own struggles with his recent HIV diagnosis.

Whit has had the support of Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams), Felix (Matthew Morrison) and Finlay Baker (Ashley Byam), as well as long-time pal Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace). And when she visited Kat at work, Whitney was offered a new pram - which Kat passed off as abandoned by a cab passenger, but had actually been furtively bought by Zack.

But Whitney was clearly troubled, and she confided in Kat that she had been spotting the night before, and again that morning. Kat offered to go with Whitney to the hospital, where the mum-to-be had a scan. The sonographer began the ultrasound, but then explained that she needed to ask a doctor for her opinion.

Shona McGarty as Whitney Dean and Jessie Wallace as Kat Moon in EastEnders
Shona McGarty as Whitney Dean and Jessie Wallace as Kat Slater in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Whit was left terrified, and she tried to call Zack. But Zack was still in turmoil himself, as he confided in Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) over the stigmas of HIV. Sam had sought advice so she could support him, and she assured Zack that if he took his medication, his condition could be managed and even end up undetectable.

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Back at the hospital, after a long wait, the doctor arrived and, eventually, Whitney was given the news that her baby had a condition called omphalocele. This meant that the organs were growing outside of the body, and although the baby may be able to have surgery after birth, there was a chance that they may not survive.

As the enormity of the situation hit home, poor Whitney broke down and sobbed. Will she confide in Zack? And will Zack tell Whitney what he's going through?

EastEnders has already confirmed that Whitney and Zack's unborn child will be diagnosed with Edwards' syndrome in the coming weeks.

You can read more about Edwards' syndrome on the NHS website, or visit SOFT UK and Antenatal Results and Choices for help and support. For help, support and guidance around HIV, visit the Terrence Higgins Trust charity website.

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