Emmerdale fans have been rocked after Donna Windsor revealed she has a terminal illness.
Donna, who is played by Verity Rushworth, revealed she had been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.
Her condition was exposed in the latest episode after she was taken to hospital by her stepfather Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw), when she admitted she felt woozy after hitting her head.
But left alone with a doctor, she said that there was nothing that the hospital could do for her and discussed her illness.
Donna, who has returned to the village with her daughter April, said: “I know what’s wrong with me and you’re not going to be able to sort it. I did bang my head, but that’s not why I went dizzy. I’ve got mesothelioma.”
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After confirming that her medication sometimes affects her balance, she added: “I have regular check-ups back home. They monitor me – there’s nothing they can do, really. It’s terminal.”
Emmerdale bosses said they chose not to release details of Donna’s illness before the episode, as they wanted the storyline to play out on screen.
Verity is set to reprise her role as Donna for a five-month period, after first leaving Emmerdale in 2009.