Coronation Street viewers were left ‘heartbroken’ on Tuesday when Paul Winter finally told his family he has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Paul made the tearful confession at his twin sister Gemma’s wedding to Chesney Brown after he broke down while giving a speech.
In the emotional scenes, Paul (Peter Ash) told Gemma (Dolly-Rose Campbell) and their mother Bernie (Jane Hazlegrove) that he has just three years left to live.
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rare condition that slowly damages parts of the nervous system, leading to muscle weakness and wasting.
Viewers were left in tears at the devastating scenes, taking to Twitter to admit they had been left completely ‘heartbroken’.
Devastating: Coronation Street viewers were left ‘heartbroken’ on Tuesday when Paul Winter finally told his family he has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease
Heartbreaking: Paul made the tearful confession at his twin sister Gemma’s wedding to Chesney Brown after he broke down while giving a speech
One fan wrote: ‘Coronation Street time poor Paul this is so heart breaking especially for Gemma she so shocked and Bernie my heart sunk.’
Another penned: ‘I can’t cope with this episode.’
A third said: ‘I never expected to feel so many feels for a Gemma and Chesney wedding.’
Tuesday’s episode saw Paul reveal his MND diagnosis to Gemma and Bernie, after he had told them he was ‘dying’ at the end of Monday’s cliffhanger episode.
Speaking at Gemma’s wedding, Paul said: ‘It’s not a lie, I’ve got MND. I’ve got three years if I’m lucky.’
To which Gemma teared up as she said: ‘Three? This isn’t happening, no!’
But Bernie fumed: ‘Don’t believe a word of it, he’s trying to ruin your wedding day.’
Paul then insisted: ‘I’m so sorry you had to find out this way, but it’s the truth.’
Emotional: Viewers were left in tears at the devastating scenes, taking to Twitter to admit they had been left completely ‘heartbroken’
Tearful: In the emotional scenes, Paul (Peter Ash) told Gemma (Dolly-Rose Campbell) and their mother Bernie (Jane Hazlegrove) that he has just three years left to live
Supportive: The family then gathered back at their home after the wedding as they told Gemma’s new husband Chesney the truth about Paul’s devastating diagnosis
Realising he was telling the truth, Bernie tearfully said: ‘I don’t understand, you’re fine, or you wouldn’t have been if you hadn’t had that accident.’
But Paul explained: ‘It wasn’t the accident that stopped my arm from working… I’m slowly falling apart.’
WHAT IS MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE?
Motor neurone disease is a rare condition that mainly affects people in their 60s and 70s, but it can affect adults of all ages.
It’s caused by a problem with cells in the brain and nerves called motor neurones. These cells gradually stop working over time. It’s not known why this happens.
Having a close relative with motor neurone disease, or a related condition called frontotemporal dementia, can sometimes mean you’re more likely to get it. But it doesn’t run in families in most cases.
Early symptoms can include weakness in your ankle or leg, like finding it hard to walk upstairs; slurred speech, finding it hard to swallow, a weak grip, and gradual weight loss.
If you have these symptoms, you should see a GP. They will consider other possible conditions and can refer you to a specialist called a neurologist if necessary.
If a close relative has motor neurone disease or frontotemporal dementia and you’re worried you may be at risk of it, they may refer you to a genetic counsellor to talk about your risk and any tests you can have
Source: NHS UK
When Bernie asked why he hadn’t told them, Paul said: ‘This day is supposed to be about Gemma not me.’
A devastated Gemma then told her brother the wedding was ‘over’ and that she couldn’t continue with the reception after learning of the devastating news.
Paul then told her not to tell her new husband Chesney (Sam Aston) until after the wedding, saying he wanted them both to enjoy their special day.
Paul tearfully said: ‘Every moment we have left is precious, I want to see my sister dance with the man she loves.’
Still emotional, Gemma then agreed to return to the wedding and enjoyed her first dance with Chesney, as Paul assured the groom that everything was OK.
Paul and Gemma then performed a duet of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, with Gemma smiling at sharing the sweet moment with her brother.
As they sang, Paul’s partner Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) was seen speaking to Bernie, assuring her that her ‘bad’ reaction to the news didn’t matter.
In a tearful moment, he said: ‘There are going to be some very dark days ahead, so what we need to do is grab the good ones by the scruff of the neck.’
The family then gathered back at their home after the wedding as they told Chesney the truth about Paul’s devastating diagnosis.
Chesney said: ‘I still can’t believe all this was going on,’ to which Gemma told him: ‘Paul wanted us to have the best time, and that’s what we did.’
When Paul was asked if there was anything doctors could do, he said: ‘There is this drug I might be suitable for, but I’d have to do some tests first. It could give me a few more years.’
His mother Bernie and Gemma both appeared thrilled by the news, but he told them he didn’t want them to ‘get their hopes up’ about his prospects.
Bernie said: ‘You’ve got to stay positive,’ but Paul insisted: ‘This isn’t something you can wish away.’
The episode came to an emotional end as the family were seen sharing a hug with Paul after finally learning of his health struggles.