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'He won't give up': Archie Battersbee's mum vows to fight ruling to end son's life

14 June 2022, 09:15 | Updated: 14 June 2022, 10:54

High Court judge has ruled Archie's treatment should be stopped and his life support turned off
High Court judge has ruled Archie's treatment should be stopped and his life support turned off. Picture: Facebook/Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee has defiantly told hospital bosses her son is not 'giving up' his fight for survival, the day after a court ruled the tragic youngster is 'brain stem dead'.

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Holly Dance spoke to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast the day after the High Court ruled her son's life support should be switched off.

She cited a case in America where a child declared brain dead was allegedly found to be alive after they were fed.

"One of the cases that [an American doctor] did actually put forward was a child that had been declared brain dead, certificate signed, was moved over to Arizona, put in a rehabilitation unit... and once receiving medical help there it was very quickly established the child had been malnutritioned," she said.

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"Which is why... it looked as though the body was giving up, and Archie has been severely neglected with not being fed at the Royal London."

Archie has been at the centre of a High Court life-support treatment dispute after suffering brain damage in April.

A ruling on Monday found he was dead and doctors could stop life support treatment.

But Ms Dance said her son had made improvements since first being admitted to hospital.

"He's gripped my hand, he's slightly opened his eyes, not just one occasion [but on] many occasions, he holds his own blood pressure, he holds his own body temperature," she said.

"Obviously that's pretty exceptional that a child that's dead, ie a corpse, can actually heat itself up to 36.5."

Ms Dance said her son has gripped her hand
Ms Dance said her son has gripped her hand. Picture: Facebook

Ms Dance says she will appeal the ruling.

"We're appealing," she said.

"I'm going to continue to fight."

Alistair Chesser, Chief Medical Officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: "This is a sad and difficult time for Archie's family and our thoughts and sympathies are with them as they come to terms with what has happened.

"In line with the guidance issued by the court, our expert clinicians will provide the best possible care whilst life support is withdrawn.

"We are also ensuring there is time for the family to decide whether they wish to appeal before any changes to care are made."

Archie Battersbee has not regained consciousness since suffering "catastrophic" brain damage last month
Archie Battersbee has not regained consciousness since suffering "catastrophic" brain damage last month. Picture: Alamy

Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

He was found unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and his mum believes he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

Whilst doctors at the Royal London Hospital argued the youngster was "brain-stem dead", Archie's parents said the youngster's heart is still beating and said they want treatment to continue.

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On Monday a judge ruled Archie is dead and that life support treatment should stop.

In her ruling today Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said: "I find that Archie died at noon on May 31 2022, which was shortly after the MRI scans taken that day.

"I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established.

"I give permission to the medical professionals at the Royal London Hospital to cease to ventilate mechanically Archie Battersbee."

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