EastEnders' Abi Branning will die next week.

Lorna Fitzgerald as Abi Branning

Lorna Fitzgerald as Abi Branning

The wannabe vet - played by Lorna Fitzergald - has already been declared brain dead after she plunged from the roof of the Queen Victoria pub on Christmas Day (25.12.17), but her heartbroken father Max Branning (Jake Wood) is refusing to believe that there is "zero chance" of his little girl ever regaining consciousness.

However, after three weeks of trying to fight the doctors - even enlisting a lawyer to frighten them with a negligence lawsuit - Max will agree to switch off Abi's life support machine in a heartbreaking episode to air next Friday (19.01.18).

And it's not just the fellow residents of Walford devastated by the news, as fans will also no doubt draw a tear or two as they'll be forced to say goodbye to the much-loved character as well as Lorna - who has played the role for 11 years - next week.

Viewers were left gripped to the edge of their seats two weeks ago when Abi and her sister Lauren (Jacqueline Jossa) tumbled off the roof - the same way their half-brother Bradley Branning (Charlie Clements) died in 2010 - while trying to persuade their father Max not to take his own life after he plunged into depression.

Although Abi never regained consciousness, doctors did manage to save her unborn baby girl - who was born at 28 weeks - as they wanted to make sure the tiny tot was delivered quickly and safely in case the young mum went into cardiac arrest.

Lauren, on the other hand, was rushed into theatre to have emergency surgery on her back and, although the operation was a success, she still can't walk.

Meanwhile, Lorna recently admitted that she's sad to be leaving the soap after a decade on the square but she is "excited" about the future.

She said: "I've had a fantastic 11 yeas here, so I'm looking forward to what the future holds. I'm going to miss playing Abi though ... I keep getting tagged in things on social media - like clips where Abi sings to a gerbil!

"Then there was a period when I was about 14 years old where I tried a side fringe and it just didn't work! It was so bad I had to gel it down!"