Archie Battersbee: I hope my son can have the chance to die in peaceful circumstances – I know I did everything I could

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Archie Battersbee: I hope my son can have the chance to die in peaceful circumstances – I know I did everything I could

ARCHIE Battersbee’s mum has said that she did everything she could in the fight for her son after being told his life support will end on Sat

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ARCHIE Battersbee’s mum has said that she did everything she could in the fight for her son after being told his life support will end on Saturday.

Yesterday, Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, lost a last-ditch legal bid to have their boy, 12, taken out of the Royal London Hospital and transferred to a hospice.

PA

Archie Battersbee’s mum Hollie Dance has said she know she has done everything she could[/caption]

Universal News & Sport

Doctors have said that they believe Archie’s condition to be too unstable to transfer him[/caption]

PA

Archie’s parents went to the Court of Appeal but lost a last-ditch legal bid to move him to a hospice[/caption]

His desperate parents wanted him to be able to “spend his last moments” in peace – without nurses and doctors.

Hollie and Paul went to the Court of Appeal in a bid to challenge the High Court ruling, but it was shot down last night.

Agonised mum Hollie said: “I know I did everything I could. Everything. I know I’ve done a very good job being Archie’s mum.

“Based on my own childhood I was determined to be as good as a mother as I can possibly be and I feel like I have done that to the very best of my ability. It’s one of the reasons I am here.”

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She told Mail Online of her frustrations with the legal case: “All I have ever asked is to get him to six months – where is the harm in that for them?

“They have spent a fortune on legal fees fighting me in court – money they could have spent on Archie’s care and others’.

“At its heart this has been a case about a mother’s love, but also their rights. At what point did Archie’s dad and I lose our parental rights in terms of deciding what we want for our child?”

That question is one of the reasons why Hollie disagrees with so much that the doctors have told her, with Archie’s condition believed to be too unstable to sustain a transfer.


The tragic ordeal has been incredibly stressful, and with the support of the charity Christian Concern, they’ve frequently stayed up until the small hours to meet frantic court deadlines.

And Hollie has said that although “the pressure has been immense” she can’t “break down” while fighting for her son.

The mum added: “Time after time we have been told at the last minute that we have until 9am the following day to sort our submissions. It has been very difficult.

“All the way through I haven’t had a chance to process everything that has happened.

“Maybe that’s why I have never felt surprised by the outcomes. Upset of course but not surprised, because it felt like the odds were stacked against us from the start.

“Most of the time it felt less like a hearing than a trial, like I was on trial.

“All I have known is that I can’t let my guard down and break down emotionally because the second I do that I won’t have the strength to fight for my little boy.”

Hollie confesses that she does get some sleep but often wakes up every 40 minutes to check Archie’s machines.

She said: “Until a month ago his machines were constantly bleeping, which meant they were highlighting issues.

“They have calmed a lot in the last month which is another good sign showing progress. They are still the backdrop to my world though.

All I have known is that I can’t let my guard down and break down emotionally because the second I do that I won’t have the strength to fight for my little boy.”


Hollie Dance, 46

“Whatever happens I think I will hear those machines for the rest of my life.”

Archie was found with a ligature over his head after a social media dare at home in Southend, Essex, on April 7 this year.

His mother believes he was taking part in an incredibly dangerous online “blackout” challenge – also known as the “choking” challenge. 

The youngster suffered brain damage in the “freak accident” and has been unresponsive ever since.

Hollie has also had to deal with cruel social media trolls, who have relentlessly targeted her, accusing her of everything from being a liar to an unfit mother. 

“There has been constant bullying on the social media,” she says.

“I’ve never lied about a thing. I’ve been open and honest about everything that has happened but it’s not enough for people.

“I’ve been messaged to say Archie is “rotting” that he “should be six-feet under”. I’ve even had people say they will come to the hospital and take him off life support themselves.”

She goes on: “Others have published my address, which jeopardises my son and daughter’s safety.

“I try not to engage with it because for every one troll there are a thousand wonderful people out there and these nasty-minded souls are not important but it’s hard. 

“Anyone seen coming to court with me that been targeted too, sent vile messages on social media.”

Some detractors acknowledge her deep love for her son but believe passionately that Hollie should place her trust in the experts.

Darren Fletcher

Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee have continually fought for their son’s right to live[/caption]

Enterprise

Archie has been unconscious since being found at his home in Southend, Essex, on April 7[/caption]

For this she has a robust answer. “Physicians get it wrong,” she says. “Lewis Roberts is living proof of that.”

Struck by a van in the Staffordshire town of Leek in March last year, at one point the family of 19-year-old Lewis was told that he had suffered a brain-stem death — but hours before surgery to donate his organs, he began to breathe on his own.

More than anything, she says, it comes down to a mother’s instinct. “As his mother, I have had to explore every option,” she says.

“If my gut was telling me there was no chance for my son it might have been different, but I’ve educated myself, and strongest of all is a mother’s instinct that my son is in there.”

She knows this, she insists, from the hours sitting at her son’s bedside with the rest of his family, talking to him, reading to him and playing him music. 

“I know he knows I am there,” she repeated. “His facial expression changes, just as it does in other situations.

“When he has physio it’s quite invasive, it has to be to get the mucus from his lungs and he looks very stressed when he has that.

“Whereas when he has the reflexology in he looks very chilled and relaxed, his blood pressure drops.

“He’s gaining weight — it totally contradicts what doctors say which is that his vagus nerve is part of the brain that has been destroyed so therefore he is going to deteriorate to death.

He actually looks well, like he’s asleep.”

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It was revealed on Wednesday that Hollie may give her son mouth-to-mouth if doctors withdraw oxygen when his machines are switched off.

The mum has vowed to “continue to give him oxygen” if doctors switch off the 12-year-old’s machine and is “prepared to do anything” to keep him alive.

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