Grace Dingle gets mentioned a lot in Emmerdale, by her parents Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk. And she has a memorial garden outside the Woolpack which often features on screen.
She would have been celebrating her fifth birthday about now, if she’d lived. So what is the tragic tot’s story and what happened to her?
Chas was shocked when she discovered she was expecting after forgetting to have her contraceptive injection, but she and Paddy were thrilled and began to look forward to welcoming their baby.
At the 20-week scan, though, Chas got bad news. She found out her baby girl was suffering with a condition called bilateral renal agenesis.
The diagnosis meant the baby’s kidneys and bladder wouldn’t develop, and wouldn’t survive long after birth.
Chas kept the sad prognosis to herself for a while, not wanting to give Paddy the devastating news.
During the baby shower, though, Marlon found Chas sobbing, and convinced her to tell Paddy their daughter wasn’t going to survive.
Chas and Paddy got a second opinion, but when the diagnosis was confirmed, they decided to continue with the pregnancy, despite knowing the baby wouldn’t live.
Instead they started making preparations for their daughter’s birth. They asked Liv Flaherty and Marlon to be the godparents and arranged to donate the baby’s organs. They even chose her name – Grace.
Grace was born on October 1, 2018 and lived for just 29 minutes.
While Paddy and Chas spent time with their daughter, they imagined how her life would have been had she survived. In moving scenes, which won praise for actors Dominic Brunt and Lucy Pargeter, the sad parents imagined their little girl as a toddler, a schoolgirl and a teenager.
Chas held her baby girl as she passed away peacefully in her mum’s arms.
Grace was buried in the Emmerdale graveyard, next to Gennie Walker – her aunt.
Baby Grace is only the second Emmerdale character to have been born and died on-screen. The first was baby Daniel Thomas.
Life after Grace
Paddy and Chas tied the knot in 2020, after the birth of their healthy daughter, Eve, who was born a year after her sister.
They were delighted to welcome a new baby into the Dingle family and for a while it seemed their happiness was guaranteed. They didn’t forget Grace, of course, and made the memorial garden as a place where they could go to think about their daughter.
Emmerdale usually airs on weekdays at 7.30pm, with an hour long episode on Thursdays.
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