Emmerdale fans took to social media last night to share their heartbreak at the death of Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk’s newborn baby, Grace.
Last night’s episode saw the devastated couple in hospital spending their last few precious moments with their little girl.
In the ITV soap it emerges that Grace has been diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis – a condition which means both kidneys don’t develop properly in the womb.
The condition affects one of every 10,000 births, and has no treatment. Babies with bilateral renal agenesis often die in the womb, at birth, or very soon after birth.
And while Chas and Paddy Kirk, played by Lucy Pargeter and Dominic Brunt, would never get the chance to see their precious bundle of joy grow up, an emotional dream sequence showed the couple spending time with Grace at various stages in her life.
But just as viewers are heartened to see a grown-up Grace on trips to the wood and more, the scene abruptly cuts to a scene of Chas cradling her lifeless child.
Reacting to the episode on Twitter viewers couldn’t contain their feelings.
One wrote: ‘A beautiful, heartbreaking episode. @lucyparge and @dominicbrunt have been incredible throughout this storyline but tonight just broke me.’
While another added: ‘Stunning episode. So cleverly written. @lucyparge and @dominicbrunt were amazing and @DannyBMiller and @SallyDexterUK showing the impact on other family members too. So heartbreaking to think people actually go through this.’
A third continued: ‘Well done Emmerdale.. yet again a sad well acted story… not an easy subject ! that not spoken about… Very tastefully done..well done Lucy and Dominic, RIP #Gracie’
In an interview with The Sun Online last month, Chas actress Lucy Pargeter, revealed that she hoped the episode would have a positive impact.
‘I hope so, I really really hope so and we’ve said it’s not your typical episode.
“I was pleased to see it because I didn’t want to do as much harrowing birth [acting] and everything.
‘Hopefully it will have people smiling through their tears as well as being deeply upset by it – I hope.’