Archie Battersbee, boy at center of legal battle over life support, dies | Children


Archie Battersbee, the 12-year-old boy whose parents fought a long legal battle to prevent the withdrawal of his life-saving treatment, has died, his mother has said.

Speaking outside the Royal Hospital in London, Hollie Dance said he had ‘fought until the very end’ and was the ‘proudest mum alive’.

Speaking through tears, she said: ‘In sadness Archie passed away at 12.15pm today. I would just like to say that I am the proudest mom in the world.

“He was such a beautiful little boy. He fought until the end and I’m so proud to be his mother.

Dance and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, had in recent days petitioned the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to have him transferred to a hospice to die there .

A final appeal to the ECHR to intervene was dismissed late on Friday, following a High Court ruling that he must remain at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

Archie, a talented gymnast and mixed martial arts enthusiast, had been in a coma since suffering a catastrophic brain injury on April 7. His mother, who has been by his bedside almost constantly since, believes it resulted from him choking while he was taking part in a viral social media challenge.

Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance speak to the media outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Doctors said Archie was brain dead, but his parents wanted life support to continue.

Last month a High Court judge, praising Archie as having “an infectious enthusiasm for life”, ruled that it was “unnecessary” to continue to treat him.

In an interview with Sky News, recorded on Friday, Dance, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, said the hospital had made it clear there were no more options and life support would be withdrawn at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Dance said: “In the past few weeks since April 7, I don’t think there has been a single day that hasn’t been truly awful.”

“It’s been really difficult,” she added. “Despite looking strong and tough and looking visibly in front of the cameras so far, I’ve been pretty broken.”

When asked if there was anything more she could do, she replied, “No. I did everything I promised my little boy I would do. And I did.


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