Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) is in for a tough time as 2024 begins, after fostering a young boy, Ashton, with partner Zack Hudson (James Farrar).
Having lost their baby girl, Peach, to Edwards’ Syndrome, Whit and Zack were overjoyed to be accepted as foster parents.
Whitney had decided she simply couldn’t put her body through another pregnancy, a decision that left Zack devastated.
But after Zack struggles to connect with Ashton, Whit is to receive shocking news ahead of her exit that leaves her with a massive decision to make.
First, the couple have to break the news to Ashton that he’s got to move to a new foster home, leading Zack to drown his sorrows at Peggy’s with Martin Fowler (James Bye).
Even Sonia Fowler’s (Natalie Cassidy) efforts to cheer up a heartbroken Whit at their small New Year’s Eve bash don’t work.
That’s when Whit receives some shocking news.
She breaks it to Zack the next day, and the pair are deep in conversation about it when the social worker arrives to collect Ashton…
It’s been quite a journey for Whitney and Zack, who even moved out of No.1 and found their own flat so they could foster, much to the upset of best pal Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams).
As Whit struggles with both the unexpected news and letting Ashton go, she visits Peach’s tree for a heart to heart with Yolande Trueman (Angela Wynter) – where she makes a decision and heads back to number 3B to tell Zack.
With Whitney set to leave EastEnders in 2024, as actress Shona McGarty has quit the show after 15 years, what is the news that she receives – and will this lead to her exit from the Square?