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Archie Battersbee: Brain-damaged 12-year-old boy dies after life support is turned off

Written by Javed Iqbal

A brain-damaged 12-year-old boy has died in hospital after his life support was turned off following weeks of legal battles between his loved ones.

Archie Battersbee was taken off all medication at 10am on Saturday and died at 12.15pm, his tearful mother announced outside the Royal London Hospital.

Hollie Dance said her son “fought right to the end and I’m so proud to be his mum”.

Speaking for the family, Ella Rose Carter added: “They took the ventilation off and he turned blue.

“There was nothing dignified in watching a family member or a child suffocate.”

“We hope no family has to go through what we went through,” she added. “It’s barbaric.”

Archie’s death follows weeks of legal battleswith doctors and his parents disagreeing about the best course of action for the youngster.

The schoolboy suffered a brain injury in April during an incident at his home in Southend, Essex, which his mother believes may have been linked to an online challenge.

Archie Battersbee was taken off life support at the Royal London Hospital on Saturday (Hollie Dance/PA)

(Average PA)

Doctors claimed Archie was brain-stem dead and continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests, while his parents wanted a London hospital to continue treatment.

The High Court gave doctors’ permission to stop treating Archie despite the parents’ wishes.

Doctors had been allowed to do this from 11 on Wednesday, after other cut-off points during the week had been pushed back, while his parents made bids at the last minute to delay processing.

Hollie Dance tells reporters Archie ‘fought right to the end and I’m so proud to be his mum’

(Aaron Chown/PA)

His parents made one appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in a last attempt to delay the discontinuation of treatment, but this too was rejected.

On Thursday, the family launched an offer to have the child moved to a hospice so they could say goodbye, but this request was also rejected.

In an interview with Sky News, recorded on Friday, Archie’s mother said she was “pretty devastated” and that the day had been “absolutely awful”.

Hollie Dans with her son at the hospital

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She broke down and said: “For the last however many weeks since April 7th, I don’t think there’s been a day that hasn’t been really awful.”

Ms Dance added: “It’s been really tough. Despite the tough strong face and appearance which was obviously in front of the cameras until now, I’ve been pretty devastated.”

She said the hospital had made it clear there were no more options and that life support would be withdrawn at 10 on Saturdays.

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

The family’s legal options were exhausted on Friday

(Average PA)

A spokesman for campaign group Christian Concern, which has supported Archie’s family, told the PA news agency: “All legal avenues have been exhausted.

“The family are devastated and are spending precious time with Archie.”

Archie suffered a brain injury in April during an incident at his home in Southend, Essex, which his mother believes may have been linked to an online challenge.

The 12-year-old boy had been unconscious since the incident at the home in April and has been kept in intensive care at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

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Javed Iqbal

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