Mother whose son, 12, suffered brain injury says it’s too soon for life support to be switched off


A desperate mum is fighting a High Court battle for her son’s life after he never regained consciousness following a ‘freak accident’ at home.

Hollie Dance, 46, wants to keep her 12-year-old son Archie Battersbee on life support but the specialists treating him say it is ‘highly likely’ he is already brain dead.

Hollie and Archie’s dad, Paul Battersbee, want to give Archie more time to see if his condition improves before making a decision about withdrawing his life support.

Hospital bosses have asked a judge from the Family Division of the High Court in London to assess the situation and rule in Archie’s best interests.

Mum-of-three Hollie said: ‘Archie had a severe brain injury only four weeks ago, there’s not been enough time to see what he can do.

Hollie Dance, 46, who lives in Southend-On-Sea, is fighting for the life support of her son Archie Battersbee, 12, (both pictured) to not be switched off

Archie (pictured) has not regained consciousness since a 'freak accident' at home

Archie (pictured) has not regained consciousness since a 'freak accident' at home

Hollie and Archie's dad, Paul Battersbee, are hoping to have more time for Archie's condition to improve since suffering a severe brain injury four weeks ago.  Pictured: Archie in hospital

Hollie and Archie's dad, Paul Battersbee, are hoping to have more time for Archie's condition to improve since suffering a severe brain injury four weeks ago.  Pictured: Archie in hospital

Hollie and Archie’s dad, Paul Battersbee, are hoping to have more time for Archie’s condition to improve since suffering a severe brain injury four weeks ago

‘I refused the brain stem testing to declare him brain dead. It’s too soon.

‘He has squeezed my fingers with a tight grip. I think that’s his way of letting me know he’s still here and just needs more time.

‘We do not know the extent of the damage but I would rather have some of Archie than none of Archie – just to wake up every morning and kiss his beautiful little face.

‘I am fighting for as much time as possible to watch and wait.

‘My older kids Tom, 22 and Lauren, 20 come every day to visit their brother and try to get him to respond. All day we talk to him and play him his favorite song, Lucid Dreams by Juice WRLD and voice notes from his friends.

Hollie said she has refused the brain stem testing to declare Archie brain dead because it is too soon and there is a possibility he could live a happy life in the future

Hollie said she has refused the brain stem testing to declare Archie brain dead because it is too soon and there is a possibility he could live a happy life in the future

Hollie said she has refused the brain stem testing to declare Archie brain dead because it is too soon and there is a possibility he could live a happy life in the future

‘Hope is what I’m holding on to at the moment. Where there is life there’s hope.

‘Until it’s God’s way I will not accept he should go.

‘I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead. He may not be the same as he was but if there’s a possibility he could live a happy life after this I want to give it to him. ‘

Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing Barts Health NHS Trust, told the judge, Mrs Justice Morgan, that Archie’s ‘treating team consider it highly likely that he is, in fact, brain-stem dead.’

Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing Barts Health NHS Trust, told the court that it is highly unlikely that Archie (pictured in hospital) will ever recover consciousness

Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing Barts Health NHS Trust, told the court that it is highly unlikely that Archie (pictured in hospital) will ever recover consciousness

Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing Barts Health NHS Trust, told the court that it is highly unlikely that Archie (pictured in hospital) will ever recover consciousness

Hollie said she and Archie had returned home from shopping together and he had been teasing her the day that he suffered the severe brain injury

Hollie said she and Archie had returned home from shopping together and he had been teasing her the day that he suffered the severe brain injury

Hollie said she and Archie had returned home from shopping together and he had been teasing her the day that he suffered the severe brain injury

They say any movements from Archie are reflexes.

She told the court: ‘Even if Archie is not brain-stem dead, his treating team considers that it is highly unlikely that he will ever recover consciousness and consequently it is in his best interests that his mechanical ventilation be withdrawn.’

A further hearing is scheduled on May 12 to review Archie’s case. Mrs Justice Morgan described Archie’s case as ‘unbelievably tragic’ and said she hoped a resolution could be found.

Keen gymnast and MMA fighter Archie never regained consciousness after his mum found him unresponsive, hanging with a cord wrapped under his chin at their family home in Southend-on-sea.

She said: ‘Me and Archie had been shopping and got home together on April 7th.

Hollie said she saw Archie hanging but was unable to lift him and undo the knot, so she ran into the street screaming for help.  Pictured: Archie's brother Tom visiting him in hospital

Hollie said she saw Archie hanging but was unable to lift him and undo the knot, so she ran into the street screaming for help.  Pictured: Archie's brother Tom visiting him in hospital

Hollie said she saw Archie hanging but was unable to lift him and undo the knot, so she ran into the street screaming for help. Pictured: Archie’s brother Tom visiting him in hospital

‘We’d had the perfect afternoon, I was in my room when Archie came in with this bag and a cheeky look on his face. He was going to tease me – that’s what he’s like, always on the wind up.

‘He offered me a sweet but I could see he had our pet rabbit, Simian, in the bag.

‘I laughed with him and told him to put the rabbit back. He left my room and I sent a couple of texts.

‘A few minutes had passed and I thought he was quiet but I was not worried, he’s 12 he does not need me standing over him in the house all the time.

‘I came out of my room and called him and that’s when I saw the rabbit.

‘When I got closer I could also see Archie was hanging there.

Hollie said she was screaming and panicking when a neighbor, Joe, called an ambulance and took over CPR until help came for Archie

Hollie said she was screaming and panicking when a neighbor, Joe, called an ambulance and took over CPR until help came for Archie

Hollie said she was screaming and panicking when a neighbor, Joe, called an ambulance and took over CPR until help came for Archie

‘I tried to undo the cord and get him down but he was so heavy I could not lift him and undo the knot.

‘I could not get it off but I could move it from his neck, so I took the pressure off his neck and ran into the street to scream for help. I got back to Archie and managed to snap the cord.

‘Archie fell to the floor then and I was screaming and panicking. A neighbor, Joe, came and called an ambulance and took over CPR until help came. ‘

Hollie said she thought it was a 'freak accident' until someone got in touch telling her about boys doing an online challenge.  Pictured: Chase High School supporting Archie with purple ribbons

Hollie said she thought it was a 'freak accident' until someone got in touch telling her about boys doing an online challenge.  Pictured: Chase High School supporting Archie with purple ribbons

Hollie said she thought it was a ‘freak accident’ until someone got in touch telling her about boys doing an online challenge. Pictured: Chase High School supporting Archie with purple ribbons

Archie was rushed to Southend University hospital and later transferred to the Royal London where he is still dependent on mechanical ventilation.  Pictured: Archie in hospital with Hollie

Archie was rushed to Southend University hospital and later transferred to the Royal London where he is still dependent on mechanical ventilation.  Pictured: Archie in hospital with Hollie

Archie was rushed to Southend University hospital and later transferred to the Royal London where he is still dependent on mechanical ventilation. Pictured: Archie in hospital with Hollie

Archie, a pupil at Chase High School in Southend, was rushed to Southend University hospital and later transferred to the Royal London where he is still dependent on mechanical ventilation.

Hollie said: ‘At first I thought it was a’ freak accident ‘and Archie was messing around with the cord and the rabbit but since it happened I wonder if Archie could have been taking part in an’ online challenge. ‘

‘Someone got in touch with me to say they’d heard of boys putting ligatures over their head as part of an online challenge. It may not be but I’m not ruling it out. ‘

Archie's sister Lauren (right) has set up an Instagram page since Archie's accident, while a GoFundMe page for him has raised over £ 11,000 in donations so far

Archie's sister Lauren (right) has set up an Instagram page since Archie's accident, while a GoFundMe page for him has raised over £ 11,000 in donations so far

Archie’s sister Lauren (right) has set up an Instagram page since Archie’s accident, while a GoFundMe page for him has raised over £ 11,000 in donations so far

Hollie said the donations raised will be used for any future treatments Archie needs, as they will not give up on him

Hollie said the donations raised will be used for any future treatments Archie needs, as they will not give up on him

Hollie said the donations raised will be used for any future treatments Archie needs, as they will not give up on him

Since Archie’s accident his sister Lauren has started an Instagram page @spreadthepurplewave where people can follow Archie’s journey.

Celebrity fighters like David Haye and Ricky Hatton have sent videos of support via the social media page.

A gofundme for Archie has also raised over £ 11,000 so far in donations.

Hollie says the money is for any possible future treatments he may need and they are not ruling out the possibility of taking him abroad.

Hollie added: ‘Me and Archie say to each other quitting is not an option. I will exhaust every avenue.

‘He is our champion, we are so proud of all his achievements. He’s an elite gymnast and has huge potential to be a champion MMA fighter. He loves training and we want to get him back to what he loves doing. We will not give up on him. ‘

If you want to support Archie’s family you can donate here: https://gofund.me/3fcbad0c

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