EastEnders reveals heartbreaking baby storyline for Whitney and Zack

Whitney Dean spends time with Zack Hudson as they relax on the sofa in EastEnders
EastEnders has confirmed an upsetting baby storyline for Whitney Dean and Zack Hudson. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders' Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) and Zack Hudson (James Farrar) will be involved in an emotional storyline that will see their baby diagnosed with Edwards' Syndrome.

Whitney and Zack's relationship has already faced tough hardships after Zack was diagnosed with HIV. Now, the couple are set for more heartbreak later this month when an ultrasound scan shows a birth defect on their baby which prompts further testing.

EastEnders is working closely with SOFT UK (opens in new tab) and Antenatal Results and Choices (opens in new tab) to accurately reflect and raise awareness of Edwards' Syndrome, while sensitively portraying the hard decisions that future parents face following a diagnosis of the rare and life-limiting condition.

Executive Producer Chris Clenshaw said: “It was imperative for us to work alongside Antenatal Results and Choices and SOFT UK to accurately present, and sensitively portray, such an emotional storyline that many parents may relate to. 

"Shona [McGarty] and James’ [Farrar] performances have thoughtfully portrayed the realities of the diagnosis and the decision-making process with compassion and understanding. We hope that this story resonates with the audience and that we represent it as sensitively, and as accurately as possible.”

Whitney Dean and Zack Hudson have a drink at the Vic

Whitney and Zack are expecting a baby together. (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Jan Fowler, Chair at SOFT UK added: “At SOFT UK, we support families impacted by Edwards’ or Patau’s Syndrome and we were pleased to be able to work with the EastEnders team on how they could approach the story of Whitney and Zack’s baby’s diagnosis of Edwards’ Syndrome in an accurate and sensitive way. 

"Around 3 in every 10,000 births in the UK are affected by Edwards' Syndrome each year and many parents contact SOFT for help. We provide parents with comprehensive advice and support whether they decide to end their pregnancy or to continue. We also support families whose living children have Edwards’ or Patau’s.”

Jane Fisher, Director at Antenatal Results and Choices commented: “At ARC we hear daily from expectant parents dealing with the shock of being told their baby is not developing as expected, as is sadly the case for those who receive an Edwards’ Syndrome diagnosis. 

"This is a distressing and often isolating time for expectant parents as they try and navigate their next steps in a state of emotional turmoil and it’s rarely spoken about.  Well done EastEnders for tackling this difficult subject and we are pleased they involved us to help them treat the storyline with such sensitivity and compassion.”   

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.