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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Dominic Picksley

Archie Battersbee's mum vows to fight to 'bitter end' and wants to move him abroad

The mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who has made a last-ditch bid to postpone the withdrawal of her son’s life support, is thinking of taking him abroad to be treated.

Archie has been in a coma since he was found unconscious on April 7, with a ligature around his neck – his mum believes he was taking part in a dangerous TikTok challenge, leaving him with catastrophic brain damage – and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

On Tuesday evening (August 2), Hollie Dance said Barts Health NHS Trust would begin to withdraw life support at 11am on Wednesday unless the family submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by 9am.

She and Archie’s dad Paul Battersbee are now waiting on a response from the ECHR.

Twelve-year-old Archie Battersbee was found unconscious on April 7 (PA)

Speaking outside the hospital, she said: “I am hoping they will step in and give Archie a right to live. I think he deserves that.

“We’re going to fight for the right for my son to live.”

Hollie and Paul were granted a Court of Appeal hearing on Monday after the Government asked judges to urgently consider a request from a UN committee to keep treating Archie while it reviews his case.

After considering the matter, three judges refused to postpone the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment beyond midday on Tuesday – they also refused to grant permission to appeal against their ruling at the Supreme Court.

Hollie and Paul then filed an application directly with the Supreme Court, asking for his treatment to continue so the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) could have time to consider their complaint.

But, refusing permission to appeal, a panel of three justices concluded the Court of Appeal “made the correct decision”.

Meanwhile, Hollie revealed she has been contacted by doctors in Japan and Italy, who believe they can help Archie recover, despite not examining him themselves.

Hollie said: “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?

“I think that he should be allowed to go.”

Archie's mum Hollie Dance says she is "broke" and will need some "serious therapy" (PA)

Hollie has admitted she is now “running on empty” and that she feels at her lowest ebb. She said: “Yesterday (Tuesday) 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.

“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.

“I’m not going to lie, I am broke, and at some point I am going to need serious therapy, but I haven’t got time to think about me at the minute.”

Mum Hollie and son Archie in happier times (PA)

She added: “The courts are focusing in on the word dignity. What is dignified in dying in a busy hospital room full of noise with the door open, people coming in and out continuously, when Archie could be in a very peaceful garden with squirrels and wildlife running around to have his life support withdrawn there?”

On Wednesday morning, Alistair Chesser, 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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