Since surviving a horrific kidnapping ordeal in Home and Away, Leah hasn't been herself. Fighting nightmares and panic attacks, her mental health edging on the brink. Will she tell anyone before it escalates?
Leah's (Ada Nicodemou) tense behaviour begins to attract concern from her fiancé Justin (James Stewart), who was also taken hostage and left to die in a warehouse by notorious cult Vita Nova.
As he recovers at home from two near-fatal injuries – including getting trapped under a metal beam as they tried to escape and later, fighting an attack from a vengeful cult member – he becomes aware of what's he has missed. Leah is cagey and distant, causing Justin to believe she no longer wants to marry him.
"Leah hasn't really had a lot of time to process everything that's happened," Ada, 46, explains to TV WEEK.
"Between escaping, being dehydrated, exhausted, being injured herself – to then not knowing if Justin even made it – she thought he died, to then being in hospital and he nearly does die. To then Justin being attacked again. It's all a lot for her, and she's not sleeping at all."
Not wanting to worry Justin, Leah assures him she's simply stressed about the wedding. But in private, she makes a call to Dr Bree (Juliet Godwin): 'I need your help' she says.
The following day, Justin convinces Theo (Matt Evans) to help plan the wedding while Leah seeks advice from Bree.
The doctor offers to prescribe medication at Leah's request but suggests therapy to overcome trauma. But Bree's advice is misconstrued as judgement and Leah storms out!
Later that day, after a long shift at the diner, Leah walks groggily to her car. However, as another car slows down in front of her, her trauma is triggered. Dropping to her knees, she begins to panic as Justin – who was in the car - rushes to her side.