This article includes discussions of life-threatening illness, as well as pregnancy loss and termination which some readers may find upsetting.
Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) began the process of terminating her much-wanted pregnancy in tonight's emotional double-bill of EastEnders (27th February), following her baby's life-threatening diagnosis.
After heading to the hospital, Whitney and Zack Hudson (James Farrar) were devastated when the consultant confirmed that their baby had Edwards' syndrome, and explained the very slim chances of survival.
Faced with the details of just how much pain their little one could be in, Zack was angry and frustrated while Whitney quietly came to terms with what this all meant. Back in the waiting room, Whitney looked over the paperwork from the test results and in a heartbreaking moment, confirmed to Zack that he had been right - their baby was a girl.
As she talked through the suffering their little 'Peach' might endure, Whitney informed Zack that as Peach's mother, she was going to have the termination to save her from that pain. Zack was shocked, wanting to fight for their baby's future. The following morning, he continued to search for solutions online, but his half-sister Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) urged him to think about what Whitney was about to go through and to join her at the hospital again.
Whitney, meanwhile, prepared to head out alone, with housemate and friend Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams) unable to offer any comfort even as she pledged her unwavering support. But once Whit sat down at Walford General, Zack arrived, sat beside her and took her hand. The pair discussed the hope they had been clinging onto throughout the night, with Whitney telling Zack that she had prayed for a miracle.
When Whitney got up to use the toilet, a nurse called her name. But when Whit emerged, she broke down as she told Zack that she had just felt the baby move. She urged him to feel their daughter, adding that she couldn't go through with the termination after all.
Gathering his strength, Zack gently replied that they could go home there and then - but reminded Whit why she had made this decision. He urged her to be brave, and she eventually agreed to go into the hospital room.
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The consultant explained the process - which included a number of tablets that would lead to Whitney having to give birth - and warned them that once she had taken the first pill, Whit wouldn't be able to change her mind.
The young woman was terrified as she admitted she didn't know how she was going to do this, so Zack stepped in with some moving words which he spoke directly to their Peach as Whitney cradled her bump.
He revealed how much she was loved already, how desperately they wanted to meet her and hear her voice, and said how sorry he was. Whitney repeated the sentiments, before she and Zack uttered the words: "Mummy and Daddy are here".
She then swallowed the pill, setting in motion the termination - and the story continues on Thursday at 7:30pm on BBC One.
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