Family fought in court to keep 12-year-old on life support but he died yesterday
Archie Battersbee died in hospital yesterday afternoon after weeks of legal battles.
The 12-year-old had been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother Hollie Dance in April and was being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.
Speaking outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, Ms Dance yesterday said her “beautiful little boy” had died at 12.15pm.
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 in London, 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, south-east England, 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.”
In an interview with Sky News, recorded on Friday, Ms Dance said: “The last however many weeks since April 7 I don’t think there’s been a day that hasn’t been awful really.”
“It’s been really hard. Despite the hard strong face and appearance obviously in front of the cameras up until now I’ve been pretty broken.”
She said the hospital had made it clear there were no more options and that life support would be withdrawn at 10am yesterday.
Asked if there was anything more she could do, Ms Dance said: “No. I’ve done everything that I promised my little boy I’d do. And I’ve done it.”
Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Archie Battersbee passed away on Saturday afternoon at The Royal London Hospital after treatment was withdrawn in line with court rulings about his best interests.
“Members of his family were present at the bedside and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences remain with them at this difficult time.
“The trust would like to thank the medical, nursing and support staff in the paediatric intensive care department who looked after Archie following his awful accident.
“They provided high-quality care with extraordinary compassion over several months in often trying and distressing circumstances.
“This tragic case not only affected the family and his carers but touched the hearts of many across the country.”
In a High Court ruling on Friday morning, Mrs Justice Theis said it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice and the Court of Appeal rejected permission to appeal against that decision.
Doctors treating the schoolboy for the last four months declared Archie to be “brain-stem dead”, prompting a lengthy but unsuccessful legal battle by his family to continue his life support treatment in the hope he would recover.