As Paul Foreman’s (Peter Ash) physical health deteriorates on Coronation Street, it appears that each day presents new obstacles for him and his companion Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank).
Paul was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in April of this year after developing weakness in one of his hands. He is aware that his condition will deteriorate over time and that he will die prematurely as a result.
While Paul’s friends and family have been supportive, one person who truly understands is Paul’s buddy Shelly (Natalie Amber), whom he met at an MND support group. When Paul first met Shelly, he was taken aback by the sight of her in her wheelchair, realizing it was a look into his own future. As he got to know her, she became a big assistance to him since she understands precisely what he’s going through.
In the episode from Wednesday (September 13), he received a letter giving him an appointment with a palliative care nurse, and the suggestion that he might be considering end-of-life care utterly surprised him.
A conversation with Shelly helped him put things into perspective, as she explained how her own palliative care nurse had been a big help to her, and that it was all about making the most of the time he had left and being as comfortable as possible.
Paul informed her of few items on his bucket list. He claimed he’d never seen the iron men on Crosby Beach or gone to Scotland. But, he said heartbreakingly, he primarily just wanted to hang out with Billy.
Of course, Paul’s fatal prognosis has been extremely difficult for Billy, and he hasn’t always handled things as effectively as he could. He has a propensity to attempt to take over and do things for his spouse, which frustrates Paul.
When Paul returned from Shelly’s, he was irritated to see Billy considering bringing a wheelchair into the flat, despite the fact that he was walking uncomfortably and with difficulty using a stick. It was a brutal reminder of the day Paul would no longer be able to walk.
‘I can just cover it with a tarpaulin,’ Billy proposed. Paul stated that he would still be aware of its presence. But he admitted that he will need it one day. ‘I have a wheelchair and will travel.’
‘I wish it was me instead of you,’ Billy said movingly. ‘I do. I simply wish I could remove it from you.’