For the past few weeks, viewers of Coronation Street have witnessed Gemma and Chesney Brown’s son suffer from an unexplained illness.
After being moved out of the family home, Dolly-Rose Campbell’s character Gemma Winter on Coronation Street has been going through a difficult period in Weatherfield. Social services believed she had poisoned her step-son Joseph Brown (William Flanagan) on purpose.
The young child on the ITV soap opera unexpectedly became sick over the past few weeks, and his condition worsened when Gemma gave him lavender tea in an attempt to heal him. Joseph keeps complaining that he feels sick, but nobody pays attention to him except Gemma.
But in later scenes, Gemma and Chesney Brown (Sam Aston) will ultimately discover the truth about Joseph’s problem. When he collapses on the sofa at home due to his legs giving way, everything takes a dramatic turn.
Chesney, who is barely conscious, tells Linda Hancock (Jacqueline Leonard), Joseph’s grandmother, to call for an ambulance for his son. The doctor explains as he gets closer that they believe Joseph has Lyme disease after speaking with Dr. Gaddas.
They surmise that the child got it probably from a tic bite while camping. Gemma and Chesney are relieved to learn that Lyme disease is curable, and Joseph should recover well.
Relieved to have a diagnosis, Joseph finds Chesney and Gemma by his bedside as he awakens.
Gemma is overjoyed to tell them that both social services have verified she is allowed to return home now that it is evident she did not poison Joseph.
The good news, however, is short-lived as Joseph admits that he prefers to live with Gemma to his father because she was the only one who thought he was sick.
Grandma Linda has begun to step in, so it appears that there may be more unrest in the Brown home.
Linda gave Chesney the business card of a family solicitor prior to Joseph being taken to the hospital by helicopter. When Gemma discovers the card, things get worse because he won’t talk about it.
She claims that her spouse is planning to kidnap her children, but Chesney reassures her that he would never do such a thing.
But Linda intervenes, saying that it was her idea because she doesn’t think Gemma is secure enough to be around her own kids.
Now that his own son has expressed no desire to live with him, could Chesney use the solicitor’s number?
Lyme Disease UK, with whom Coronation Street has been collaborating closely, has been consulted on scripts concerning symptoms and treatment.
Retired Community Nursing Specialist Practitioner Paediatric Nurse Having personally suffered from Lyme disease, Julia Knight shared her thoughts on working with the soap opera regarding Joseph’s plot.
“Working with the Coronation Street scriptwriters to provide guidance and recommendations so they could create a storyline that is both realistic and captivating has been a great pleasure,” the actress stated.If, as in the storyline, a person only exhibits viral-type symptoms at first, Lyme disease can be easily overlooked.
“It is crucial to spread knowledge about the illness and teach people how to avoid it. By being informed, one can avoid bites and, in the event that one does contract the disease, one can quickly seek medical attention.