'It's Barbaric': 12-Year-Old Boy Dies after Life Support Is Turned Off against Family's Wishes
After their son fell into a coma following an incident at home, a family vowed not to give up and fight for him until the end. For months, a legal battle ensued between the doctors and the boy's family until a final court order indicated it was time to say goodbye.
A parent's love for their children is genuine, unconditional, and never-ending. From the moment they lay eyes on their little one to the day they get to cradle them, a parent's whole world revolves around their children — the center of their existence and the reason behind their survival.
Perhaps that's why our parents wouldn't hesitate to go to the ends of the world to ensure our safety and protection. Many people might believe parents possess supernatural powers, but really, it's their devotion to their kids that keeps them going. Today's story is about a mother's endless struggle and incessant love for her child.
Archie Battersbee's mom, Hollie Dance, sister-in-law, Ella Carter, and other relatives gather outside the hospital to share their thoughts and feelings. | Source: facebook.com/Channel4News
A CHEERFUL BOY
Archie Battersbee lived with his family in Southend, Essex, United Kingdom. His mother, Hollie Dance, described him as an active youngster and a born fighter who loved mixed martial arts and gymnastics.
Well-wishers lit candles and left flowers for the little angel.
According to his family, Archie also became inclined toward Christianity in 2020 when he saw other MMA fighters in the field praying before the game. Per Dance, her son had a beautiful heart, was high-spirited, loved animals, and made people smile wherever he went.
Archie's parents, Paul Battersbee, 56, and Dance, 46, were separated but loved him and his siblings whole-heartedly. The young boy had two older siblings, Tom, 22, and Lauren, 20. Every day was filled with love and joy for the Battersbee family until an unspeakable tragedy struck their world.
A SOUL-CRUSHING OCCURRENCE
On April 7, 2022, 12-year-old Archie was said to have fallen into a deep coma after an incident at home. Initially, the youngster was taken to the Southend University Hospital but was later transferred to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, run by Barts Health NHS Trust.
While Archie's family continued to stay hopeful for his recovery, the doctors reportedly told them their son may be brain-stem dead. What followed next was a legal battle between doctors and the Battersbee family, where the latter appealed for the continuation of Archie's life-support treatment.
REFUSING TO GIVE UP
Per a court hearing on June 13, the judge ruled that Archie had died on the day of his MRI scan on May 31 and should be taken off life support. But the young boy's family refused to accept the court ruling and said that their son had a chance of recovery if he was given more time.
Dance shared that she knew her son would wake up and added that Archie squeezed her hand, opened his eyes, cried, and responded to music and smell. She also added:
"I know I've done a very good job being Archie's mom. Based on my own childhood I was determined to be as good as a mother as I can possibly be and I feel like I have done that to the very best of my ability."
APPEALING THE COURT RULINGS
The Batteresbee family kept appealing the rulings and added that, given their Christian faith, they would like to continue Archie's treatment. They won an appeal for the matter to be reconsidered on June 29, but a new hearing came on July 11.
On July 15, Mr. Justice Hayden announced that further treatment was "futile" and it was in Archie's best interests to withdraw life support. The boy's family sought help from the Court of Appeal, but their efforts were in vain.
They even wrote to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Person With Disabilities to request the UK government delay the treatment's withdrawal. Still, the original decision was said to be upheld.
THE FAMILY'S WISHES WERE REPORTEDLY DENIED
The youngster's family also went to the High Court to allow them to transfer him to a hospice and spend his final moments with them, but the doctors and judges reportedly argued that the risks involved were too high. Dance also said:
"I would like him out of here as quick as possible, and in a peaceful hospice to say goodbye and spend time with his family, uninterrupted by the noise and chaos."
THE HARDEST AND MOST PAINFUL GOODBYE
On August 6, around 10:00 a.m., Archie's life support was turned off, and he passed away at 12:15 p.m., surrounded by his loved ones. The Battersbee family also released an adorable photo of their boy as a tribute, where he looked dapper and happy in his grey suit and blue bow tie.
Many people showed up outside the Royal London Hospital to share their heartfelt condolences with the Battersbee family. Well-wishers lit candles and left flowers for the little angel.
Passersby gathered to show their support for Archie, with many comforting his family in their difficult time. Candles flickered in the shape of the letter 'A,' forming a beautiful heart around the card with Archie's name.
THE HEARTBROKEN FAMILY
Archie's mom, Dance, and sister-in-law, Ella Carter, were said to have had an emotional breakdown as they recalled their sweet boy's last moments. A teary-eyed Carter expressed:
"No family should ever have to go through what we've been through, it's barbaric."
A PROUD MOTHER
Dance revealed that despite being completely broken from within, she did everything she had promised her son she would do to fight for him.
The distraught mother said that her son was always full of life and called him the heart of her family. She further added:
"Can I just say I'm the proudest mom in the world — such a beautiful little boy, and he fought right until the very end. And I'm so proud to be his mom."
Our deepest condolences, heartfelt prayers, and thoughts go out to the Battersbee family as they navigate life in this challenging time.
May little Archie's soul rest in eternal peace. Please remember this little boy and his family in your prayers.
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