Life support

Archie Battersbee: ‘Doctors want to turn off my son’s life support because they say he’s brain dead but I know he’s still there’

The mother of a 12-year-old boy with ‘catastrophic’ brain damage has revealed his heartbeat rose by 20 bpm when he heard her in the room. Archie Battersbee is at the center of a legal battle for life-sustaining treatment, after doctors at an east London hospital said it was ‘very likely’ he had ‘died of brainstem”.

Earlier this week his mum Hollie Dance told the 10,000 subscribers on Archie’s support page ‘ spreadpurplewave ‘, that her son was “deffo over there” after his heart rate increased in her presence. She also shared videos of Archie holding her hand in hospital, although medical staff said they hadn’t seen any response from the youngster since his admission.

Archie, who is an avid gymnast and aspiring MMA fighter, was found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7, and has yet to regain consciousness.

READ MORE: Mother of heartbroken 12-year-old boy with ‘catastrophic’ brain injury says she ‘just wants more time with him’



The 12-year-old’s family said he was responding in hospital

Speaking to MyLondon, his mother has vowed to keep fighting for her son, as the family awaits a High Court ruling on whether his life-saving treatment should continue. It comes after a two-day hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice, where medical staff at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel said there had been ‘no discernible brain activity’. Doctors treating Archie say his stem is 50 per cent damaged and 10-20 per cent of it is in necrosis – where cells have died and/or broken down.

The family set up a GoFundMe to raise money for medical support and launched a JustGiving page to help pay legal fees. The “spreadthepurplewave” Facebook page has also become a forum for family friends and supporters to share updates and wish the family well.

The page currently has over 10,000 members and Hollie regularly updates the page with photos and images of Archie. Calling her follower ‘Archie’s army’, she shared a message on Tuesday to say: ‘Archie had a great night last night, really good actually. One of our favorite nurses. I’ve also had a good night’s sleep since it happened, so I’m ready for you in court today. Archie’s heart rate shot up 20 bpm when he heard my voice waking up this morning and was back to normal when I left. He is definitely there.

Speaking on the social media page, Archie’s sister-in-law Ella Carter said, “The purple wave spread really started as a place to support what we are going through as a family. Since then, it has grown as a place to hold fundraising events and offer prayers and share photos of Archie to raise awareness.



Archie’s family have vowed to keep fighting for him

“We have received a lot of medical information from the page and from people sending us advice and contacts which has been very helpful. The general messages of support have been really lovely. It’s so great that so many people are waiting daily updates from Hollie on Archie’s legal proceedings and progress.

Speaking to MyLondon, Hollie Dance said: ‘The support we’ve had has been amazing. You also have trolls but I’m not interested in what they have to say. We had such support from our friends and family, we had contact with people from all over the world. We had people from America, Australia, etc.

Appearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday June 7, she said: “Today I woke up feeling positive, and I haven’t felt that for a while, but today I am determined and positive. I’m going to go all the way, I’m not giving up on my son and I’m not going to go down without a fight My instincts have always been right and I’m very realistic that Archie suffered a catastrophic brain injury, but my instincts are that we will get through this as a family.



A High Court judge prepares to make decisions on the future of Archie’s life

Archie, who has been described as “a bit of a daredevil”, is said to have been taking part in a viral social media game when he was found with a ligature around his neck in the hallway. He was rushed to hospital and has since been receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital, where he has remained on a ventilator.

Lawyers representing the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Judge Arbuthnot to decide what the next steps would be in Archie’s best interests. At Tuesday’s hearing, a specialist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it was “very likely” he was brain dead, and said that in the eight In recent weeks there had been “no straining to breathe, no movement, no coughing, no nausea, fixed pupils”.



Archie had started training to become an MMA fighter like his older brother

However, family representative Bruno Quintavalle argued that Archie’s heart was still beating, while his parents said he was reactive. Hollie and her former partner Paul Battersbee expressed concern that “correct procedure” had not been followed, and the court heard that the hospital had failed to take into account their religious views.

Speaking to MyLondon, Hollie said: “My son is in good shape, he was training to be an MMA fighter for god’s sake. He was an athlete, he was always doing gymnastics and never had been sick in his life. The only medicine he’s ever taken is Calpol. When he was younger, I once found him with his finger in the socket and joked “well, it’s that’s where you get all your energy.”

“They haven’t given him a chance to fight since he’s been in the hospital, it’s only been eight weeks! How can you decide my son’s life isn’t worth living when it’s only been eight weeks. They tell the court ‘what if he’s in a vegetative state?’ and I’m like ‘So what?’. He is my son at the end of the day and I will always love and care for him.



The 12-year-old has not regained consciousness since the April 7 incident

Archie had started training to be an MMA fighter before his injury and hoped to follow in his older brother Tom’s footsteps. At Tuesday’s hearing, Ella spoke on behalf of the family and told the court: “In previous conversations with the family, particularly Tom injuring himself with his MMA and if he had to get injured and be on support in a similar situation, if he would be left on life support Archie stepped in and made it clear he would want his life to go on.



Archie’s family wants to keep him on life support

When asked how she felt about the judging, Hollie replied, “Nervous, I’m nervous but in the end it doesn’t matter because it’s not the end of the road. Obviously, I would like it to be in our favor and we wouldn’t have to come back here, but if not, we will appeal and we will not give in. My son deserves a chance.

Ella continued, “No matter the outcome, it’s not the end of the road. We will appeal the decision if it does not go our way, we will go as far as possible. We’re not going to give up on Archie, it’s by no means the end of the road for us.

Judge Arbuthnot is expected to deliver her judgment on Monday. If you would like to donate to Archie’s GoFundMe, the link is located here.

Do you have a court case you think we should cover? Email [email protected]



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