What happened to Oliver on Coronation Street? How did Leanne’s son die?

Coronation Street character Oliver died last year. But how did Leanne’s son die?

In the past few months, Leanne has struggled with the loss of her son Oliver.

This week she started finding white feathers in the apartment, believing it was a sign of her late son.

But when she discovered that her older son Simon had planted the feathers, she was furious.


Leanne was devastated to learn that Simon had planted the white feathers (Credit: ITV)

But who is Oliver and how did he die?

Who is Oliver on Coronation Street?

Oliver is the son of Leanne Battersby and Steve McDonald. He is the half-brother of Amy Barlow, Emma Brooker, and the late Rauiri McDonald.

He is also the stepson of Leanne’s partner Nick Tilsley and Simon’s wife, Tracy McDonald.


Leanne and Simon are Oliver’s parents (Photo credit: ITV)

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While Simon is not Leanne’s biological son, she raised him like he was and Simon was a big brother to Oliver.

Oliver was conceived when Leanne and Steve had a one night stand in June 2016. Steve had briefly separated from his wife Michelle Connor at this point.

Leanne found out she was pregnant and Steve came back with Michelle shortly afterwards. Not long later, Michelle also became pregnant.


Oliver had mitochondrial disease (Credit: ITV)

However, Steve went into labor at just 23 weeks and gave birth to a stillborn son whom she named Rauiri.

A few months later, on February 20, 2017, Oliver was born. When Michelle found out that Steve was the father of Leanne’s son, her heart was broken.

Growing up, Oliver was loved not only by his immediate family, but also by his extended family, which included the Barlow and Platt families.

How did he die?

In 2020, Oliver seemed to get sick. But in April when he was being looked after by Summer Spellman, he had a seizure.

Oliver continued to have seizures and the doctors started testing.


Oliver was loved by all of his family and extended family (Credit: ITV)

Eventually Oliver was diagnosed with an incurable and life-limiting form of mitochondrial disease, and the doctor told Steve and Leanne that he had suffered permanent brain damage from the seizures.

In the past few weeks, Oliver’s condition had worsened and he had to be kept under constant, strong sedation to prevent the seizures. He also needed a breathing tube.

In September 2020, the doctor told Leanne and Steve that Oliver’s brain damage was so severe that he could never breathe on his own and, combined with the need for constant reassurance, had no hope of recovery.

Oliver Battersby Coronation Street
Oliver died in November 2020 (Photo credit: ITV)

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They believed it would be in Oliver’s best interests to withdraw his life support. However, Leanne refused to let her son go and took the hospital to court to contest the decision.

Medical confidence was satisfied that the doctors had done everything for Oliver. Leanne vowed to appeal, but Steve wanted to end his son’s suffering.

Ultimately, Leanne decided not to appeal and decided to turn Oliver’s life support off on November 20, 2020. He died shortly thereafter, leaving his family, loved ones and bystanders devastated.

Who played Oliver?

Oliver was played by Toby Catley and twins Emmanuel and Jeremiah Cheetham.

Toby only played against Oliver in 2017. However, Emmanuel and Jeremiah continued to play the character until his death in November 2020.

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