Archie Battersbee dies after last-ditch effort to keep life support on fails

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Archie Battersbee has sadly passed away after a failed last-ditch attempt from his parents to keep his life support on.

The 12-year-old died at 12.15pm on Saturday, his mother Hollie Dance confirmed outside the Royal London Hospital where she spilled her heart to the media through tears.

Hollie Dance said: "In sadness, Archie passed at 12.15pm today. I would just like to say I am the proudest mum in the world.
"He was such a beautiful little boy. He fought right until the very end and I am so proud to be his mum."

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Both Hollie and ex-husband Paul Battersbee, had applied to a UN committee who in turn requested that the ending of his treatment be postponed.

After an intense week of court hearings, campaign group Christian Concern announced on Friday night that Archie's life-sustaining treatment would be withdrawn at 10am today (August 6).

Hollie said last night (August 5) that she was "pretty broken" and the last few weeks have been "awful".

Asked if there was anything more she could do, she said: “No. I’ve done everything that I promised my little boy I’d do. And I’ve done it.”

Archie's parents shifted their efforts to have him moved from hospital to a hospice but, a ruling at the High Court on Friday concluded it was not in his best interests to be moved.

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Archie was found unconscious by his mother with a ligature over his head on April 7.

Hollie thinks he may have been taking part in the Blackout Challenge, a disturbing online trend that sees young people try different destructive methods to make themselves unconscious.

Doctors believe Archie is brain-stem dead and say continued life support is not in his best interests.

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Judge Sir Andrew McFarlane explained at Monday's hearing that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under which the UN committee made its request, is an “unincorporated international treaty” and thus should not have been applied by a UK court.

He added: “Every day that [Archie] continues to be given life-sustaining treatment is contrary to his best interests and, so, a stay, even for a short time, is against his best interests.”

After the ruling, mum Hollie said the family “continue to be shocked and traumatised by the brutality of the UK courts and the hospital trust” and vowed to “continue to fight for Archie”.

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She added: "Our wishes as parents continue to be trampled on and ignored. We do not understand the urgency and rush to end life-support.

"The hospital trust has at no point given us time to come to terms with what has happened."

Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences remain with Archie’s family at this difficult time.

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“We are following the direction of the courts, so no changes will be made to Archie’s care whilst the family appeal to the Supreme Court, though we will prepare to withdraw treatment after midday unless directed otherwise.”

Supporters brought flowers to the hospital on Saturday morning.

Shelley Elias, 43, said she had come to the Royal London Hospital because "I wanted his mum Hollie and the family to know I was thinking of them".

Mrs Elias, a mother of two from Stepney, east London, who said she vaguely knew Archie's mother, brought flowers, a card and some candles.

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She said: "I did not know what to write because there are no words that will take the pain away.

"I just wanted the mum and her family to know that I am here for them.

"My boy is 12, the same age as Archie, and this just puts things in perspective. When things like this happen, you just think 'I have nothing to moan about in life'."

Candles flickered in the shape of the letter "A" and also formed a love heart around a card with Archie's name in a makeshift tribute at a statue in front of the hospital.


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