After weeks of legal battles, 12-year-old British schoolboy Archie Battersbee has died after his life support was removed.
Speaking outside the Royal London Hospital, his mother Hollie Dance said her “beautiful little boy” died at 12.15pm today.
The family were at his bedside when his ventilator was turned off.
Archie’s parents had fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of treatment and in recent days made bids to the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die.
Announcing her son’s death to the media, Ms Dance, of Southend, Essex, said “he fought right until the very end”.
Speaking through tears, she said: “Can I just say, I’m the proudest mum in the world.
“He was such a beautiful little boy and he fought right until the very end, and I am so proud to be his mum.”
A last-ditch plea to the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in the case was rejected late on Friday, following a High Court ruling that he must remain at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.
The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.
Relative Ella Carter described the trauma faced by Archie’s family as “barbaric” as she described his final moments.
Speaking through tears outside the Royal London Hospital, she said: “His stats remained completely stable for two hours until they completely removed ventilation and 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 have been through – it is barbaric.”
Ms Carter and Archie’s mother then collapsed into each other’s arms, cried, hugged and walked slowly back into the hospital.
More to follow