Archie Battersbee DIES after life support is taken off, parents spend last night by his bedside
'I'm the proudest mum in the whole world. Such a beautiful little boy and he fought right until the very end,' Archie's mom Hollie said after he died
LONDON, UK: Archie Battersbee died on Saturday, August 6, after all life support treatment was stopped by the doctors. It has been said that his family members were by his bedside during his final moments. On his last night, before the support was withdrawn, his parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, reportedly decided to spend every second with him.
Hollie spoke briefly to the press outside the Royal London Hospital in east London, where he died, saying, "It's with my deepest sympathy and sadness to tell you Archie passed at 12.15 today. And can I just tell you, I'm the proudest mum in the whole world. Such a beautiful little boy and he fought right until the very end and I'm so proud to be his mum." A relative, Ella Carter, also spoke with the reporters outside the hospital, saying, “He was taken off all medication at 10 o'clock. His entire stats remained completely stable for two hours until they reduced ventilation. Then he went completely blue. There is absolutely nothing dignified about watching a family member or a child suffocate [to death]. No family should ever have to go through what we’ve been through, it’s barbaric.”
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The 12-year-old boy had been receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, since April. He went into a coma after apparently taking part in a lethal online challenge. After losing all their bids to continue life support treatment for Archie in different courts, the devastated family had requested the High Court to allow them to take him to a hospice. But that request was also denied.
Mrs Justice Theis in her ruling said, “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court. When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted, … the risks involved in a transfer … and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when looking at the balancing exercise again his best interests remain as set out (in the ruling of July 15), that he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn.”
“The circumstances outlined by Dr F of the physical arrangements at the hospital and the arrangements that can be made will ensure that Archie’s best interest will remain the focus of the final arrangements to enable him peacefully and privately to die in the embrace of the family he loved,” Theis had concluded.
Dance condemned the court’s decision as she said: “I know I've done a very good job being Archie's mum. 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. It's one of the reasons I am here. All I have ever asked is to get him to six months – where is the harm in that for them? They have spent a fortune on legal fees fighting me in court – money they could have spent on Archie's care and others.”
The mother added, “There has been a lot of focus on Archie's dignity, and I passionately believe that the most dignified death for him would be away from the machines and noise of a hospital ward. At its heart this has been a case about a mother's love, but also their rights. At what point did Archie's dad and I lose our parental rights in terms of deciding what we want for our child?”
Meanwhile, before Archie’s death was announced, Ollie Bessell, who is close to the family, took to Facebook to post about the latest on his case. He also paid tribute to the schoolboy as he wrote, “I have the heartbreaking responsibility to let all of our followers know that this morning, The Royal London Hospital began the removal of Archie's life support system.”
Bessell continued, “Talking from a personal point of view, this is a hard one to take. A few weeks ago, I was sat in a room with Archie and I felt the life in him. Although he was not in a good position, he was still very much there. None of you met Archie, but yet I know his story has touched so many of you. Especially those of you that are parents. Which is why we have continued to update you all regularly.”
“I hope you will all join me in sending love to Archies family and we will continue to remember him through the De Lick Kids Foundation in the days, weeks and years to come. Fly high young man, you’ve touched the hearts of more people then you’ll ever know,” he added.