Archie Battersbee's mum breaks agonising news of life support ruling to son


Hollie Dance, 46, broke the devastating news to her 12-year-old son and whispered to him: “Archie, we’ve lost this fight, but we won’t give up, we’ll keep fighting.” It followed a High Court ruling that he would never recover from an online “blackout challenge” which left him in a 10-week coma.

The family held a vigil last night outside Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, Mirror reports.

During which, Hollie said: “I stroked his hair and held his hand and said we’d keep fighting.

“He’s a 12-year-old boy who’s been given a death sentence. I’m not going to give up, this is just the start of the fight.

“I’ve been tortured for weeks but he’s my boy and I won’t give up. We will appeal.

“I know my son is still there.”

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot yesterday gave medics permission to take the youngster off a ventilator and withdraw medication following a bitter legal dispute where medics argued he was “brain-stem dead”.

Hollie found Archie with a ligature over his head on April 7 this year at their home in Southend, Essex.

She believes he might have been taking part in an online social media craze where people asphyxiate themselves, pass out and regain consciousness on camera.

As many as 82 people are thought to have died as a result of the phenomenon, with hundreds of others suffering brain injuries.

Archie had an MRI scan on May 31, which Mrs Arbuthnot yesterday concluded had showed the boy had died.

Speaking outside the High Court and choking back the tears, Hollie said: “I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge’s ruling after weeks of fighting a legal battle when I wanted to be at my little boy’s bedside.

“I feel sickened that the hospital and judge have failed to take the wishes of his family into consideration.

“I don’t believe Archie has been given enough time. From the beginning I have always thought, ‘What’s the rush?’

“His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother and by my mother’s instinct, I know my son is still there”

In a written ruling, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said: “I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established.”

The judge went on: “If Archie remains on mechanical ventilation, the likely outcome for him is sudden death and the prospects of recovery are nil.

“He has no pleasure in life and his brain damage is irrecoverable.

“His position is not going to improve. The downside of such a hurried death is the inability of his loving and beloved family to say goodbye.”


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