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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Christian Abbott

What happened to Archie Battersbee – and what was his cause of death?

Archie Battersbee was hospitalised after it is believed he attempted a dangerous TikTok challenge that left him in a coma.

Over a month after his tragic death, his funeral is happening today (September 13), taking place a St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell, Southend at midday.

His grieving family fought to keep his life support running, but doctors made the decision to stop providing treatment.

This led the family file a lawsuit against the doctors, with a High Court battle following suit over the last few weeks.

The family is continuing to fight for Archie today, with them seeking to discuss the ramifications of his case to the UK's health secretary.

What happened to Archie Battersbee?

Archie Battersbee fell unconscious after it was beloved he attempted a TikTok challenge (PA)

On April 7, 2022, Archie’s mum, Hollie Dance, found him unconscious with a ligature over his head.

As a result, the 12-year-old suffered a brain injury, which his mother believed is due to an online TikTok challenge, known as the Blackout Challenge, which encourages people to hold their breath until they pass out.

The schoolboy never regained consciousness and was sent to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, in east London.

Doctors thought that he was "brain-stem dead", and concluded that continuing life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

What was Archie Battersbee's cause of death?

Following an inquest, coroner's officer Paul Donaghy said a provisional cause of death was identified as catastrophic hypoxic-ischemic brain injury secondary to strangulation.

He explained: "Paramedics attended and they reported a Glasgow Coma Scale of only 3 and confirmed a cardiac arrest. CPR continued and Archie was transported to Southend Hospital.

"Archie was thereafter transferred to the Royal London Hospital and Great Ormand Street Hospital who were both in agreement that surgical intervention would not help Archie. He was reviewed by the Paediatric Neurology team during his admission.

"Second opinions were also provided by multiple professionals from the Royal London, Queen's and Great Ormond Street Hospitals who agreed that Archie had suffered severe irreversible brain injury.

"The High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court were involved in applications to determine the direction of care and the best interests of Archie.

"With the authority of final court order, life-sustaining treatment was withdrawn on August 6, 2022, in a side room on the intensive care unit and Archie died surrounded by his family and friends.

"Death confirmed by a hospital consultant."

Archie died on August 6, 2022.

What did doctors conclude about Archie’s death?

Archie Battersbee died on August 6 (PA)

The Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital, asked a High Court judge to make a decision on what medical treatment would be best for Archie.

The case was initially considered by Ms Justice Arbuthnot, but in the end, it was concluded that the school pupil was dead.

It was then upheld by the Court of Appeal judges, along with Archie’s parents, saying that the evidence should be reviewed by a different High Court judge.

After another hearing, Mr Justice Hayden then ruled that ending treatment was in Archie’s best interests.

After this, the family requested Archie be moved to a hospice so they could say their goodbyes, but this bid was turned down.

Hollie wrote to the then-health secretary, Steve Barclay, to discuss the implications of the case.

He replied saying he would discuss it with her, but he is no longer the health secretary following Liz Truss becoming the new Prime Minister and shaking up the cabinet.

MP Thérèse Coffey is the new health secretary, though no new date for a meeting has been confirmed.

Senior Coroner for Essex, Lincoln Brookes, has also set a date for the full inquest into Archie's death for February 7 next year.

Speaking in court, he said the inquest would look into the death and how his tragic end came about, with "no one being on trial" during proceedings.

He added: "I also want to take the opportunity to say that Archie's death is a tragedy that so many people, especially his family on a personal level.

"I would like to extend my deepest condolences [to Archie's family] on behalf of myself and my officers."


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