Oliver Benjamin Battersby was the son of Leanne Battersby and Steve McDonald, born in February 2017 as the result of a one-night stand. Steve initially wanted nothing to do with his son, but changed his mind shortly after Oliver's birth when he came into contact with the baby for the first time.
In May 2020, at the age of three, Oliver was diagnosed with a life-limiting form of mitochondrial disease after suffering a series of debilitating seizures. His condition eventually took his life in November of that year.
Leanne and Steve had a one night stand in June 2016 when Steve had briefly separated from his wife Michelle Connor. Leanne was surprised to discover she was pregnant as she had previously been told her chances of conceiving naturally were low following a miscarriage in 2011.
Steve wanted nothing to do with the unborn child, choosing instead to remain with Michelle whilst Leanne got back together with her ex-husband Nick Tilsley. A mutual agreement was made between Leanne, Nick and Steve that Nick would be presented as the baby's biological father to their respective families and friends.
A few weeks after Oliver's conception, Michelle also became pregnant with Steve's baby, however she went into labour at just 23 weeks and gave birth to a stillborn son she named Ruairi McDonald in January 2017. These events intensified Steve and Leanne's guilt over their deception.
Oliver was born in the lift of the Victoria Court flats on 20th February 2017 while Leanne and her stepsister Toyah were trapped inside during a power cut. Toyah delivered the baby with the help of the townsfolk who were waiting outside.
A few days after Oliver's birth, Nick's family, still believing Nick to be the biological father, celebrated the new arrival at Nick's Bistro. During the event a minor scuffle took place which left Steve holding the baby. Unable to hide his true feelings about his son any more, Steve confessed to Michelle in front of Nick's family that he was Oliver's real father. Michelle responded by furiously hitting Leanne and telling her that Oliver should have died instead of Ruairi. She also locked customers inside her and Steve's pub, the Rovers Return Inn, and demanded a divorce from him.
Having now lost his wife for good, Steve was determined not to lose his son. Despite hostile resistance from Nick, Steve was able to persuade Leanne to give him partial custody of Oliver while also including his name on the birth certificate. Nick became increasingly spiteful towards Steve, but after nearly dying in quicksand, Nick apologised and decided he could no longer play father figure to Oliver. Nick ended his relationship with Leanne and left Weatherfield.
When Leanne had to give up her tenancy on the Victoria Court flat, she and Oliver moved into the Rovers Return Inn which had been purchased by Toyah and Peter. After they split and Peter sold the Rovers to Johnny Connor in August 2018, they were forced to move to a flat on Tile Street. In October, Oliver was a page boy at his father's wedding to Tracy Barlow which ended in disaster when a second one night stand between Steve and Leanne was publicly revealed and Leanne was involved in a road accident on her way back from the venue. With Leanne critically ill in hospital, Nick was summoned as he was still listed as her emergency phone contact. As Leanne recovered she reunited with Nick and they moved back to Victoria Court with Oliver.
In April 2020, Oliver suddenly started having mysterious seizures that grew more and more frequent over time. After several visits to the hospital, Oliver began to fit continuously and was put under heavy sedations. The doctors diagnosed Oliver with an incurable and life-limiting form of mitochondrial disease as well as reporting that he had suffered permanent brain damage from his fits. As the weeks passed Oliver's condition deteriorated quickly and he had to be kept under constant heavy sedation to prevent his fits as well as needing a breathing tube. In September the doctors confirmed that Oliver's brain damage was so severe that he'd never be able to breath on his own, and combined with the constant sedation needed and the fact he had no hope of ever recovering they felt it was time to withdraw Oliver's life support and allow him to die. Leanne and Steve were adamant that more could be done to save Oliver and decided to fight against the decision, eventually culminating in a hearing that occurred in November. The medical trust however were satisfied that the doctors had done everything they could and ruled in favour of the hospital's decision. Leanne vowed to appeal, although at this point Steve realised they were fighting a losing battle and wanted to let his son's suffering end.
- Oliver was played by twins Emmanuel & Jeremiah Cheetham from his birth in February 2017 until his death in November 2020, with Toby Catley also appearing in the role from February to July 2017.
(To be completed)
List of addresses
|8 Victoria Court||20th February 2017 to 24th July 2017|
|Rovers Return Inn||24th July 2017 to 8th August 2018|
|Unknown flat, Tile Street, Weatherfield||8th August 2018 to 26th October 2018|
|12 Victoria Court||26th October 2018 to 27th November 2020|