Archie Battersbee's mum begs judge to allow life support to continue

Archie Battersbee’s mother issues desperate plea to children over online choking game as she waits to find out whether judge will order 12-year-old’s life support to end on Monday

  • Hollie Dance, 46, issues last-ditch appeal for High Court judge to save her son 
  • Archie Battersbee hasn’t regained consciousness since incident at Essex home 
  • He was found unresponsive with a ligature around his neck with fears he took part in an online ‘blackout challenge’ that has been linked to dozens of deaths 

The mother of a 12-year-old boy clinging to life after reportedly choking while doing a viral social media trend has begged a High Court judge to allow her son’s life support treatment to continue.

Archie Battersbee hasn’t regained consciousness after he was found unresponsive at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7 and spent eight weeks in an induced coma.

The schoolboy’s family fear he took part in an online ‘blackout challenge’ when they discovered him with a ligature around his neck – with doctors now warning it is ‘highly likely’ the talented gymnast is brain dead.

The trend, which has swept across TikTok and encourages users to asphyxiate themselves, pass out and regain consciousness on camera, has been linked to the deaths of dozens of children in the United States.

While experts have called for Archie’s life support to be turned off his parents, Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, have demanded his treatment continue because the youngster’s heart is still beating.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, say the youngster’s heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.  

Ms Dance last night issued a last-gasp appeal to High Court judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to ‘find it in your heart to give my son the time to heal’ before she makes her ruling on Monday.

‘It’s devastating. Total strangers are making a decision about whether my son lives or dies’, she told the Mirror.

‘It’s so hard as a mother. For 12 years I’ve raised him but now we’ve gone into a hospital you lose your right. It’s awful.

‘The hospital has had Covid patients in a coma on ventilators for three months, it’s longer than Archie has been in hospital.’

 Hollie Dance, 46, (left) has begged a High Court judge to allow Archie Battersbee’s life support treatment to continue after he choked while reportedly performing an online ‘blackout’ craze

Archie has not regained consciousness after he was found unresponsive with a ligature around his neck at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7

Ms Dance described her son as a ‘happy’, ‘high-spirited’ ‘daredevil’, who enjoys mixed martial arts and trains with South Essex Gymnastics Club

Police have questioned whether he was trying a dangerous online craze, that has killed more than 80 children since it was first circulated online 14-years-ago. 

This week, Ms Dance revealed the frantic moment she discovered Archie with a dressing gown tie cutting off his windpipe on ITV’s This Morning.

She recalled the moment she ‘ran out screaming for help’ after snapping the ligature off her son who was on the landing and fell ‘8ft onto the hallway’, where she then began CPR. 

‘I ran out screaming to get help, nobody was there so I came back in,’ she said.

Mother-of-three Ms Dance also issued a direct warning to parents about the dangers of social media’s latest craze.

Suggesting her son was taking part in the online challenge, Ms Dance claimed there have been at least 80 deaths, and hundreds of cases of permanent brain damage, linked to the potentially fatal ‘blackout challenge’.

After being taken to Southend Hospital, he was then transferred to Royal London Hospital. 

‘It’s important that parents are aware about these things so they can have a conversation with their children,’ she continued.

‘They need to explain what might happen, and maybe use Archie as an example, then maybe the child would take notice and not try it.’

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves are in Archie’s best interests. 

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning on Thursday, Ms Dance said: ‘If I don’t explore every avenue, if I don’t fight for his life and later on we realise, well actually we didn’t look into that, we’ve missed something — I’m going to spend the rest of my life not knowing and thinking “what if, what if”.

‘I’m going with my gut and…  a mother’s gut instinct, I think you should really go with it.’

Giving evidence at the hearing this week, a specialist told the judge about a number of concerns noted by Archie’s treating team.

She said tests had shown no ‘discernible’ brain activity, but revealed ‘significant areas of tissue necrosis’, and added: ‘We believe that it is very likely that he is brain-stem dead.’

Ms Dance told This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that she found Archie (pictured) with something tied around his neck, cutting off his ‘windpipe’

Archie Battersbee’s brother Tom Summers kisses Archie on the head in hospital

But lawyers representing Archie’s family have told the judge that his heart is still beating – and his mother said he had gripped her hand.

They also say there was an issue as to whether ‘the correct procedure’ had been followed, and whether the ‘family’s views’ had been taken into account.

This week, Archie’s parents made their closing pleas to Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, who is deciding what moves are in the 12-year-old’s best interests. 

‘Monday coming will be our ninth court appearance,’ Ms Dance added. ‘He’s been in hospital for eight weeks.

‘Every single minute is precious, and I’m having to go to court and sit there all day. I’m not getting back to hospital some days until half seven at night.’

She described her son as a ‘happy’, ‘high-spirited’ ‘daredevil’, who enjoys mixed martial arts and trains with South Essex Gymnastics Club. 

Ms Dance added that since being in hospital, her son has held her hand and opened his eyes.

His blood pressure and heart rate have also been increasing and then dropping, something she has been told could be ‘neurostorming’.

A ruling is expected to be delivered on Monday.

Source: Read Full Article