Oliver Battersby

Oliver Battersby’s family dynamics and health struggles in Coronation Street

The tot passed away late last year, leaving his family heartbroken

Oliver Battersby in Coronation Street was the son of Leanne Battersby and Steve McDonald.

Oliver was seriously ill (Credit: ITV)

He had a doting stepdad, Nick Tilsley, a slightly less doting stepmum, Tracy Barlow, and half-sisters Amy Barlow and Emma Brooker, as well as adoptive big brother Simon Barlow.

Oliver’s arrival and his parents

In June 2016, Leanne Battersby had a one-night stand with old-flame Steve McDonald, while he was separated from his wife, Michelle.

Michelle and Steve lost their premature baby Ruairi, just a month before Oliver was born (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Leanne thought she couldn’t get pregnant so she was thrilled – but Steve wasn’t so happy. He chose to stay with Michelle – who was also pregnant. Together with Leanne and Nick, they decided that they would tell everyone the baby was Nick’s.

Oliver was born in the lift at Victoria Court when heavily pregnant Leanne got stuck inside. Thankfully, Toyah was there too and she delivered her nephew.

At first, it was plain sailing with Steve focusing on Michelle and grieving for their son Ruairi, who’d been born prematurely and died tragically, just a few weeks earlier.

But when he held baby Oliver, Steve realised he couldn’t pretend. He fessed up to a devastated Michelle and decided to be part of his son’s life.

Steve was determined to be part of his baby’s life (Credit: ITV)

Things got nasty for a while between Steve and Nick, and unable to cope, Nick left Weatherfield.

But when Leanne crashed her car, Nick was called to the hospital because he was still down as her emergency contact. The pair got back together and built a family with Oliver – with Steve a doting dad to the little boy, too.

Oliver’s illness

When Summer Spellman was babysitting the tot, Oliver suffered a convulsion. Terrified, the teenager rang an ambulance, and his parents were relieved when Dr Gaddas said it was likely to have been a febrile convulsion.

Soon, though, Oliver was suffering more seizures, and not hitting his developmental milestones.

Oliver was surrounded by love (Credit: ITV)

Leanne and Steve were worried, but there was a bit of hope when Oliver was allowed home and then spoke at a day out at a farm.

Sadly their hope was short-lived, though, and Oliver was diagnosed with incurable mitochondrial disease. His devastated parents were heartbroken.

Fighting for Oliver’s life

Leanne and Steve were determined to give Oliver every chance they could. So when the doctors told them there was nothing more they could do to help Oliver, Leanne and Steve refused to give up.

Oliver in hospital
Oliver’s parents didn’t want to give up on him (Credit: ITV)

They raised as much money as they could to fight the doctors. Steve even sold Street Cars.

But at the hearing, it was decided that the doctors were right to withdraw Oliver’s treatment.

Leanne wanted to appeal, but Steve didn’t think it was the best thing to do. And eventually, Leanne agreed.

Tragic death

At the end of November 2020, little Oliver’s life support machine was switched off and he passed away.

Oliver passed away with his parents at his side (Credit: ITV)

Leanne and Steve were with him when he died, singing his favourite song, You Are my Sunshine.

Leanne was devastated to lose her son and found it hard to recover, while Steve threw himself into fundraising.

Read more: Coronation Street hints at tragic mutism storyline for grieving Sam

Now Leanne is coping with taking on Sam, Nick’s son, who’s just lost his mum Natasha.

Sam has gone mute since Natasha’s death and despite to bringing back awful memories for her, Leanne has vowed to help him.

But tonight (Friday November 26) she is consumed with her own grief as she remembers her son one year on from his death.

After receiving flowers from Toyah, she and Nick head to the cemetery to visit Oliver.

But can Leanne get through this difficult day and stay strong for struggling Sam?

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer