Since her unexpected arrival in Summer Bay a few weeks ago, Caroline Stewart (Nicole Shostak) has been keeping a big secret from her estranged husband Duncan (Benedict Wall), and next week Australian viewers will finally learn just what that secret is.
Last week saw the revelation that Caroline had a large amount of marijuana in her possession, which was later lost when her bag fell into the water from the pier. Despite Alf sending a couple of guys into the water, the bag could not be found.
Later, Duncan & Caroline’s son Bryce (Jack & Ace Long) jumped into the water in an attempt to salvage what he knew was important for his mother – her “special medicine” as he later told a suspicious Roo.
Whilst it was all too easy to jump to conclusions, Caroline later went to visit Dr Nate at the hospital, and it became apparent that the situation was far more serious. Whilst the conversation detailing her ailment happened off-screen, we learnt that Caroline was using the marijuana medicinally after exhausting other treatments in the US to help cope with her symptoms.
Whilst Nate had every sympathy, he was unable to help with her request for more as the use of medical marijuana is currently banned in Australia (though since these episodes were filmed, it’s been announced that the ban is due to be lifted in November).
After managing to get her hands on what she needs via Ash, things will come to a head this Thursday when Caroline’s alternative remedy gets the better of her, and next Monday she will confide in Roo about her problem – she has Huntington’s Disease.
TV WEEK reports that despite the risk of Bryce also having the hereditary condition, which causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, Caroline begs Roo not to say anything to Duncan or Alf.
When a desperate Caroline later goes on the run with Bryce, Duncan calls the police – will she be forced to reveal her secret?
Home and Away has previously dealt with the issue of Huntington’s back in 2000, when Edward Dunglass was diagnosed with the Juvenile form of the disease, inherited from his late father.
With the average life-expectancy for a Juvenile HD sufferer being less than 10 years after diagnosis, Edward left to travel overseas with his partner Peta Janossi.
Elsewhere in the bay, Billie Ashford‘s big secret is also in danger of being blown next week, when Nate discovers that her conception date has been changed in her medical records.
Viewers will remember that Billie stole Dr Benson’s keycard in order to sneak into her office to change the date, covering the fact that the father of her baby was not VJ Patterson—as she’s led everyone to believe—but her rapist Mick Jennings.
With the mum-to-be being hit by a car this week, not to mention the numerous other dramas she’ll face in the coming months, it’s certain to be a rollercoaster ride!