Emmerdale Spoilers: No one gets a happy ending in soap and that was proved in tonight’s Emmerdale when Chas Dingle discovered her unborn baby has a rare disease and will not survive.
After finally getting her head around becoming a mum again, pregnant Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) was excited at seeing the 20-week ultrasound scan, only to be given the devastating news that her baby had a disease called Bilateral Renal Agenesis, which means that neither of the baby’s kidneys have developed in the womb.
Babies with this condition have no working kidneys and are unable to survive. Some die during the pregnancy or within days after they are born – leaving Chas and her fiancee Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) with the heartbreaking decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy.
That’s if Chas tells Paddy, who misses the scan as he’s off trying to book a surprise wedding venue in Scotland and doesn’t realise the ultrasound is taking place as the couple both forget.
When Chas remembers and can’t get hold of Paddy, she decides to go alone and is thrilled to discover she is having a little girl, her first daughter. But while Chas is excited, the radiographer’s face becomes concerned and she goes to find a consultant for a second opinion.
During an interview with This Morning, actor Dominic Brunt who plays ‘Daddy Paddy’ said: “I think emotionally this stuff we’ve filmed over the past six weeks, and now we know what’s happening in the future, it’s a specific situation that parents find themselves in.
“It’s a rare defect that happens in the womb. And I don’t want to go too much into it so I don’t spoil the story for anyone, but it kind of holds a mirror up to that. It’s because they’re parents of a certain age, and then with the complication that’s come up, it’s finding out all the different facets and angles of these things.
“It’s quite strange on Twitter, people go “this is pro-life” or “this is pro-choice”. It’s not. We’re putting a situation in and we’re delicately finding out all the different ways of working it in.”
According to medical website infoKID, which specialises in children’s kidney conditions, if the person doing the ultrasound cannot see kidneys, or can only see a small amount of tissue where the kidneys should be, bilateral renal agenesis will be suspected.
The scan also measures the amount of amniotic fluidthat the baby floats in. The baby’s kidneys start making urine and pass this out into the amniotic fluid. This fluid protects the baby from getting hurt from the outside and helps his or her lungs mature so he or she is ready to breathe after birth. If there is very little or no fluid, this is another sign of a serious problem with the kidneys, such as bilateral renal agenesis.
This incredibly rare disease, which occurs in about one of every 10,000 births, is usually caused by genetics if one of the parents has a kidney defect and is more common in boys than girls. It is not caused by the mother’s age but we can’t see that stopping Chas blaming herself as she carries this terrible secret by herself.
One thing is certain and that is there is a heatbreaking decision to be made by Chas and Paddy – and Lucy Pargeter and Dominic Brunt will smash this very sensitive storyline.