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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Luke Oreilly

Hundreds attend vigil for Archie Battersbee - OLD

PA Wire

Hundreds of people have paid their respects to 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who had his life support withdrawn after a lengthy court battle.

A crowd gathered at the bandstand in Priory Park, in Archie’s hometown of Southend, Essex, on Sunday.

Well wishers and loved ones held purple balloons with “forever in our hearts” written on them.

Archie Battersbee’s mother at the memorial event on Sunday (PA Wire)

Cards with the message “a mother’s love”, and a photo of Archie and his mother, Hollie Dance were hung from a pine tree.

Children played with bubbles as music played from speakers in the background.

One person lit a purple flare, holding it in the air as a mark of respect.

Addressing the gathering, Archie’s mother thanked them for their support.

“Thank you so, so much for supporting us while we were in that awful place,” she said. “I hope you all stand by me in trying to change this law, Archie’s army, so that no more of our children and their parents go through this.”

Archie Battersbee's brother Tom Summers with his brother in hospital (Hollie Dance/PA)

Scores of purple balloons were then released into the air.

Earlier in the evening, Hollie said: “It’s been really hard. It was a fight for my little boy’s life.

“If I had to go back and do it again I would fight equally as hard.

“I will continue this fight. I have got no intention of giving up, Archie wouldn’t want me to give up, he would definitely want me to continue. Things have got to change.”

Ms Dance with her son, who passed away earlier this month (Hollie Dance/PA)

Ms Dance said that Archie’s religious beliefs should have been taken into consideration.

“Archie’s beliefs and Archie’s religion, what Archie would have wanted, just wasn’t taken into account – it was just brushed under the carpet,” she said.

Archie died on August 6 in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, after weeks of legal wrangling.

He had been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother at his home in Southend, Essex, on April 7.

He was being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.

Doctors treating him for the last four months declared Archie to be “brain-stem dead”, prompting a lengthy legal battle by his family to continue his life support treatment in the hope he would recover.

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