Saturday August 06, 2022

12-year-old British boy dies after life support withdrawn: Family

12-year-old British boy dies after life support withdrawn: Family

This is a photo provided by Hollie Dance of her son Archie Battersbee. File / AP

Twelve-year-old British boy Archie Battersbee died on Saturday after doctors turned off his life support, his mother said following a long legal battle.

Archie passed away just over two hours after the artificial ventilation was stopped, Hollie Dance told reporters outside the hospital. "Such a beautiful little boy. He fought until the end," she said.

Archie's mother, Hollie Dance, found her son unconscious at home in April with signs he had placed a cord around his neck, possibly after taking part in an online asphyxiation challenge.

"It's been really hard," Dance told Sky News late Friday, breaking down in tears, before the family spent the night at Archie's bedside in the Royal London Hospital.
"Despite the hard, strong face and appearance obviously in front of the cameras up until now, I've been pretty broken," she said.

Life support was to be withdrawn at 10:00 am (0900 GMT), Dance said, although there was no word from the hospital an hour later.

At the entrance to the hospital in east London, well-wishers left flowers and cards, and lit candles in the shape of the letter "A."

"My boy is 12, the same age as Archie, and this just puts things in perspective," Shelley Elias, 43, said after leaving her own offerings at the impromptu vigil.

"I did not know what to write because there are no words that will take the pain away," she said.

A judge in June agreed with doctors that Archie was "brain-stem dead", allowing life support to be discontinued, but the family fought through the courts to overturn that.

Arguing that Archie could benefit from treatment in Italy or Japan, they took their case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which this week declined to intervene. The parents also lost a last-ditch legal bid to have Archie transferred to a hospice for his final hours.

Agence France-Presse

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