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Tragic story of young Archie Battersbee: Dad suffers stroke before judges rule to SWITCH OFF son's life support

Archie, 12, has been in a comatose condition since April 7 when he was discovered unconscious with a ligature over his head
UPDATED JUL 26, 2022
Archie Battersbee has been on life support since April (GoFundMe)
Archie Battersbee has been on life support since April (GoFundMe)

The father of an Essex boy, who suffered “catastrophic” brain damage in April, reportedly had a heart attack or stroke before judges dismissed the parents’ appeal against a ruling to SWITCH OFF his life support. It has been said that the condition of Archie Battersbee’s father Paul Battersbee worsened and was taken to the hospital ​​Monday morning, July 25.

Barrister Edward Devereux QC, representing Paul and his separated wife Hollie Dance, informed all three judges — Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson — about Paul’s condition. Also, Archie’s mother reportedly wanted the judges to take some more time before giving out the decision since she claimed to witness signs that Archie had tried to breathe on his own.


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Archie Battersbee's parents do not want to remove his life support (Facebook/ Hollie Dance)
Archie Battersbee's parents do not want his life support removed (Facebook/Hollie Dance)

But they did not stop the court proceedings and even permitted doctors to halt the 12-year-old’s treatment. McFarlane said that he was “extremely sympathetic” towards the father but did not see any reason to adjourn the verdict. “After careful thought, we refuse permission to appeal,” he mentioned before adding, “Archie is no longer the boy in the photograph. He is someone whose every bodily function is now maintained by artificial means.”

A BBC report also noted that “The Court of Appeal has ordered a 48-hour delay to life support ending to allow the family to make an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.”


After the verdict, Andrea Williams, chief executive of a campaign organization called the Christian Legal Center, which is assisting Archie’s parents, said: “I am very disappointed that they have not adjourned this decision given that Mr Battersbee has been taken to hospital. I’ve been in touch with Archie’s mother – she is disgusted.”

As per reports, Archie has been in a comatose condition since April 7 when he was discovered unconscious with a ligature over his head by Hollie. First, it was believed to be a “freak accident” but later, the family suspected that the boy was found in that state because of a dangerous online challenge.

Archie was taken to the Royal London Hospital in east London, run by Barts Health NHS Trust, where doctors told his parents that his severe brain damage indicates that “he may be brain stem dead.” They suggested a test to confirm it but the family did not give their approval, forcing the trust to take the case to the High Court in London. 

Then on June 13, Justice Arbuthnot announced at the Family Division of the High Court in London, “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.”

Archie Battersbee has been on life support since April (CITIZEN GO)
The child had reportedly participated in an online challenge before collapsing (CITIZEN GO)

Arbuthnot had added, “If Archie remains on mechanical ventilation, the likely outcome for him is sudden death and the prospects of recovery are nil. He has no pleasure in life and his brain damage is irrecoverable. His position is not going to improve. The downside of such a hurried death is the inability of his loving and beloved family to say goodbye.”

But Hollie slammed the court’s decision and said, “I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge's ruling after weeks of fighting a legal battle when I wanted to be at my little boy's bedside. Basing this judgment on an MRI test and that he is 'likely' to be dead, is not good enough. This is believed to be the first time that someone has been declared 'likely' to be dead based on an MRI test.”

The mother also asserted at the time, “His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother, I know he is still in there. Until it's God's way I won't accept he should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead. We intend to appeal and will not give up on Archie.”

After this, Justice Hayden was assigned to review the case. Hayden also decided against the family in mid-July and said that treating Archie was “futile”. “It serves only to protract his death, whilst being unable to prolong his life,” he added.


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At the time, Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, had also shared, “Our deepest sympathies are with Archie's family at this difficult time. We accept the decision of the High Court that it is no longer in Archie's best interests to continue treatment. We are allowing time for the family to consider whether to appeal this decision before any changes to treatment are made.”