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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Chiara Giordano

Archie Battersbee: Well-wishers light candles outside hospital as boy dies after life support withdrawn


Well-wishers have laid flowers and lit candles outside the hospital where Archie Battersbee died after his life support was switched off.

Tributes poured in for the 12-year-old boy as family, friends and passers-by paid their respects following his death at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel on Saturday.

Images show candles flickering in the shape of the letter “A” and others forming a love heart around a card with Archie’s name left at a statue in front of the hospital.

Tributes pour in for Archie Battersbee as well-wishers lay flowers and light candles outside hospital after life support switched off (Aaron Chown/PA)

Archie’s mother Hollie Dance described him as “such a beautiful little boy” as she announced he had died at 12.15pm surrounded by loved ones.

Speaking to supporters and reporters outside the hospital on Saturday, she said: “It is our deepest sadness to tell you all that Archie passed at 12.15 today.

“Can I just say, I’m the proudest mum in the world,” she continued.

“He was such a beautiful little boy and he fought right until the very end, and I am so proud to be his mum.”

Ella Carter, the fiancée of Archie’s older brother, recalled the youngster’s final moments.

Well wishers have been leaving tributes after the boy passed away (Aaron Chown/PA)

She said: “He was taken off all medication at 10 o’clock. His entire stats remained completely stable for two hours until they reduced ventilation.

“And then he went completely blue. There is absolutely nothing dignified about watching a family member or a child suffocate.

“No family should ever have to go through what we’ve been through. It’s barbaric.”

Archie had been in a coma since his mother found him unconscious at their home in Southend, Essex, on 7 April.

The schoolboy suffered a brain injury the incident, which his mother believes may have been linked to an online challenge.

Archie’s brother Tom Summers kisses his loved on in hospital (Hollie Dance/PA)

His death followed weeks of legal battles, with medics and his parents disagreeing over the best course of action for the youngster.

Medics argued Archie was brain-stem dead and continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests, while his parents wanted the hospital to continue with treatment.

Archie with his mother Hollie Dance (Hollie Dance/PA) (PA Media)

The High Court gave medical professionals permission to stop treating Archie despite the wishes of his parents.

Doctors had been allowed to do this from 11am last Wednesday, after other cut-off points over the week had been pushed back while his parents made last-minute bids to delay treatment.

His parents made an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in a final attempt to postpone the withdrawal of treatment, but this was also rejected.

On Thursday, the family launched a bid to have the child moved to a hospice to spend his last moments with loved ones privately, but this request was also turned down because of the risks involved.

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