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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Zoe Tidman

Archie Battersbee’s mother ‘hasn’t got time to break down’ as she ‘fights for right for son to live’


The mother of Archie Battersbee has said she has “not got time to break down” as the fight to keep her brain-damaged son on life support enters what could be its final hours.

Hollie Dance vowed to continue to “fight for right” for her “son to live” as doctors remain on standby to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from the 12-year-old.

The High Court has given medics permission to stop treating Archie despite his parents’ wishes, ruling this was in his best interests.

Doctors were set to turn off life support from 11am on Wednesday, but has agreed to wait until the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made a decision on the family’s last-minute bid.

The hospital had already pushed back plans to switch off the boy’s life support twice this week as the legal battle over Archie’s care continued.

Ms Dance spoke to reporters outside the east London hospital where Archie is being treated about the personal struggle on Wednesday.

“At some point I am going to need serious therapy, but I haven’t got time to think about me at the minute,” she said.

“This is a serious fight for my son’s life and I’m up against the biggest system and a trust that I haven’t got time to break down at the moment.”

Archie Battersbee has been unconscious since an incident at home in April (PA)

Archie suffered a brain injury in April during an incident at his home in Southend, Essex, which his mother believes may have been linked to an online challenge.

The 12-year-old boy has not regained conciousness since and has been kept in intensive care at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Doctors believe he is brain-stem dead and treatment should stop - a course of action approved by the High Court and Court of Appeal - while the family want it to continue.

Archie Battersbee is being treated at the Royal London Hospital (family handout/PA) (PA Media)

The United Nations had asked the UK to postpone taking him off treatment while it looked into the case, but this request was turned down earlier this week.

Archie’s family lost a bid to appeal this ruling on Tuesday.

“Yesterday was a very down day for me. People that know me know I won’t stay down for long, especially when it comes to fighting for my son’s life,” Ms Dance said on Wednesday.

“I promised Arch, same with his dad, that we will fight ‘til the bitter end, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to fight for the right for my son to live.”

Archie’s mother also revealed the family had received offers from medics in Japan and Italy to treat Archie.

“If this country can’t treat him or they’re not willing to treat him, where is the harm in allowing him to go to another country?” she said.

She also told reporters the family had asked for Archie to be transferred to a hospice if he were to be taken off life support, but this had been “brutally” refused by the hospital.

Alistair Chesser, the chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Our deepest sympathies remain with Archie’s family and we aim to provide the best possible support to everyone at this difficult time. “

“As directed by the courts, we will work with the family to prepare for the withdrawal of treatment, but we will make no changes to Archie’s care until the outstanding legal issues are resolved.”

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