Fight of his life

FOL­LOW­ING HIS HOR­REN­DOUS BEAT­ING AND HIT-AND-RUN IN­JURIES, Billy VALIANTLY STRUG­GLES TO SUR­VIVE AS THE ODDS FOR HIS RE­COV­ERY STACK UP AGAINST HIM

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Co­matose and com­pletely un­re­spon­sive to ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­one around him, Billy’s chances of sur­viv­ing the ex­ten­sive in­juries he suf­fered dur­ing his book­maker’s beat­ing and then when he was ac­ci­den­tally hit with a car are look­ing grim­mer with each pass­ing hour. His con­di­tion is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing rapidly and his fam­ily is heat­edly ar­gu­ing about who’s to blame for his in­juries and how to help him re­cover.

Sud­denly, Billy’s (Burgess Jenk­ins) con­di­tion takes a turn for the worse as he goes into car­diac ar­rest. De­spite be­ing sta­bilised, it seems that his only chance of sur­vival is im­me­di­ate surgery.

How­ever, Si­mon (Michael E. Knight) has stud­ied Billy’s med­i­cal files and be­lieves that surgery could kill him. In­stead, he wants to use his med­i­cal pro­to­cols to treat Billy but the Ab­bott fam­ily is re­luc­tant to go the ex­per­i­men­tal route. With Jill (Jess Walton) stead­fastly op­posed to any­one ex­per­i­ment­ing with her son’s life, Stitch (Sean Car­ri­gan) ref­er­ees the med­i­cal stand­points and fi­nally sug­gests that surgery would be the bet­ter op­tion.

Trag­i­cally though, Billy’s surgery fails, leav­ing him with very lit­tle brain ac­tiv­ity. All that’s left is hope that a mir­a­cle will oc­cur, leav­ing Jill and Vic­to­ria (Amelia Heinle) be­moan­ing the dev­as­tat­ing pos­si­bil­ity that Billy is lost to them for­ever. Omi­nously, Billy’s con­di­tion wors­ens and the doc­tors ad­vise that the fam­ily has to choose whether to dis­con­nect his life sup­port.

Jill is adamantly against sac­ri­fic­ing her son’s life and pre­pares to rule as his next of kin un­til she dis­cov­ers that Billy pre­vi­ously put Jack (Peter Bergman) in con­trol of his af­fairs. Re­luc­tantly, Jack makes the de­ci­sion to re­move Billy’s life sup­port, know­ing his brother wouldn’t want to live his life as a co­matose in­valid.

The de­ci­sion is made for the Ab­bott fam­ily to gather around Billy’s (now Ja­son Thomp­son) hospi­tal bed­side to say their fi­nal good­byes to him. With emo­tions in over­drive, Jack sanc­tions the shut­down of Billy’s life sup­port and cries for his brother to “be at peace”. With the pro­ce­dure un­der­way, Billy en­dures an outof-body ex­pe­ri­ence and says “I’m still alive” as he watches his fam­ily grieve for him.

Feel­ing re­spon­si­ble for the crip­pling al­co­hol and gam­bling ad­dic­tions that have driven him to the brink of death, Billy gives his loved ones ad­vice to go on with­out him. Strug­gling with the idea of dy­ing, Billy sud­denly re­ceives an an­gelic visit from his daugh­ter Delia (So­phie Pol­lono) who en­cour­ages her dad to con­tinue liv­ing. She’ll be okay with­out him in heaven be­cause she knows he’s not ready to die, she says.

Buoyed by Delia’s words, Billy re­solves to live as his heart­beat be­gins to mirac­u­lously im­prove. With Vic­to­ria keep­ing a con­stant vigil over him, Billy fi­nally re­vives and as­sures her that he knows how lucky he is to be alive. His only thought is of get­ting well again and seek­ing re­demp­tion for the many sins he’s com­mit­ted be­cause he now knows how much he’s hurt Vic­to­ria and their chil­dren.

Billy (Burgess Jenk­ins) comes close to hav­ing his life sup­port switched off. JACK VIC­TO­RIA

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