MIRROR Online: LONDON, England – Tragic schoolboy Archie Battersbee has died after having his life support switched off today.
The 12-year-old had been in hospital since April after he suffered a catastrophic brain injury, with his parents launching a desperate bid to continue his treatment.
Mum Hollie Dance said outside the hospital in east London this afternoon that Archie “fought right until the very end and I am so proud to be his mum”.
“He was taken off medication at 10am, his stats remained stable until two hours later,” she said.
Ms Dance confirmed he died at 12.15pm.
She addressed gathered press as she stood arm in arm with family friend Ella Carter who described Archie having gone “completely blue” before he died.
With tears rolling down her face, Ella said: “He was taken off all medication 10 o’clock and his stats remained completely stable for two hours.”
Archie had been in a coma since April – Image: PA
The boy’s parents had fought to keep his ventilator switched on – Image: Hollie Dance / SWNS
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel said he was brain-stem dead and that continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests.
Ms Dance and former partner Paul Battersbee had filed a series of applications to have the schoolboy moved to a hospice, insisting they should be allowed to choose where he takes his last moments.
In a High Court ruling on Friday morning, Mrs Justice Theis concluded it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved and the Court of Appeal rejected permission to appeal that decision hours later.
Candles, messages and a teddy for Archie have been left outside the hospital, on the pedestal of the Queen Alexandria statue.
Ms Dance said last night she has done everything she promised her son she would do.
A spokesman with campaign group Christian Concern, which is supporting Archie’s family, added: “All legal routes have been exhausted.”
The group had argued there had been a violation of articles six and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article six is the right to a fair trial and article eight is the right to respect for private and family life.
The Court of Appeal judges said Mrs Justice Theis’ ruling in the High Court dealt “comprehensively with each of the points raised on behalf of the parents”.
The judges said they had “reached the clear conclusion that each of her decisions was right for the reasons she gave”.
Hollie said she has done everything she promised Archie she would do – Image: PA
It follows a dramatic week of 11th-hour applications and appeals to various courts to delay switching the life-support machine off.
Archie’s life support was due to be switched off on August 1, but the Court of Appeal hearing didn’t conclude until late afternoon.
The three judges considering the matter then refused to postpone the withdrawal of treatment beyond midday on August 2.
On the same day, Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee dramatically submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court asking for treatment to continue while the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – which was denied.
Hollie Dance (right), speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, east London – Image: PA
On August 3, the family submitted an 11th-hour application to the European Court of Human Rights – but it was rejected.
By the next morning, the parents submitted another application to have Archie moved to a hospice – this was also rejected.
Attorney General Suella Braverman said on August 4 that the case was an “incredibly heartbreaking situation” but insisted the courts had “reached the right decision”.
Ms Dance said the UK has treated her son’s injury as “black and white” and had alleged that the wrong MRI scan may have been submitted to the courts during proceedings.
Archie Battersbee, 12, has died of his catastrophic brain injury – Image: PA
Ms Dance has always maintained that she would fight for Archie until the end.
She told Times Radio on August 4: “I wouldn’t want any other parents to go through what we’ve gone through, which is why I have tried to highlight quite a lot of subjects since we’ve been here, like the online challenge, and I know that so, so many people have sat their kids down and used Archie’s story to hopefully save their lives.
“So I’m going to continue to make sure Archie’s name lives on. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that parents don’t have to go through this awful situation with the courts.”
The mother of Archie Battersbee, Hollie Dance, speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital – Image: PA
Ms Dance also said she had been looking at treatment options in Japan and Italy.
She said: “Other countries are offering treatment. They said he is a prime candidate for treatment because he’s only 12 years old. He should be given that option to actually take that treatment and I agree he should be given that option.”
Ms Dance had released a video of her son she claimed provided ‘new’ evidence he is still breathing on his own.
She insisted Archie is able to breathe independently of a respirator as the Christian Legal Centre – which is supporting the family’s case – and circulated a video that they wanted to submit as evidence.
Courts documents show that when Ms Dance raised this with the medical staff they carried out a procedure but found no change had happened.
Documents published on August 5 read: “Dr F’s evidence was clear and I accept it that such changes in the display are invariably caused by other factors, such as moisture caused by saturation when removed, the white lines goes. Also, movement of the body, such as the leg, can generate a similar sign. Dr F said what needs to be looked for is movement in the chest, which has not been observed.”
The High Court had previously found that Archie can’t feel pain and so his current treatment regime does not cause him any pain or distress.
Damage to his spinal cord could also prevent his breathing independently regardless of any damage to his brain, it’s claimed.
Top Feature Photo: Hollie Dance (left) embraces family friend Ella Carter outside the hospital – Image: PA)