A desperate mother 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 specialists treating him say it is “very likely” he is already brain dead.
Hollie and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, wants to give Archie more time to see if his condition improves before making the decision to take him off 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.
Hollie, a mother of three, said: “Archie had a serious brain injury just four weeks ago, there hasn’t been enough time to see what he can do.”
Hollie Dance, 46, who lives in Southend-On-Sea, is struggling to keep her son Archie Battersbee, 12, (both pictured) on life support from being switched off.
Hollie and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, hopes to have more time for Archie’s condition to improve since he suffered a serious brain injury four weeks ago.
I have refused to undergo brainstem testing to declare him brain dead. It’s too soon.
He squeezed my fingers tight. I think that’s his way of letting me know that he’s still here and just needs more time.
“We don’t know the extent of the damage, but I’d rather have some Archie than no Archie at all, just to wake up every morning and kiss his pretty little face.”
‘I am fighting for as long as possible to watch and wait.
‘My older children 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 his favorite song, Lucid Dreams by Juice WRLD and voice notes from his friends.
Hollie said she refused the brainstem test to declare Archie brain dead because it’s too early and there’s a chance he could live a happy life in the future.
‘Hope is what I’m holding on to right now. Where there’s life there’s hope.
‘Until it is God’s way, I will not accept his leaving.
‘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 is a chance that he can live a happy life after this, I want to give it to him.’
Solicitor Fiona Paterson, representing the Barts Health NHS Trust, told the judge, Justice Morgan, that Archie’s “treatment team considers it very likely that he is, in fact, brain dead”.
Solicitor Fiona Paterson, representing the Barts Health NHS Trust, told the court that it is highly unlikely that Archie (pictured in hospital) will ever regain consciousness.
Hollie said that she and Archie had returned home from shopping together and that he had been making fun of her the day she suffered the severe brain injury.
They say that any of Archie’s movements are reflexes.
She told the court: “Even if Archie is not brain dead, his treatment team considers it highly unlikely that he will regain consciousness, and therefore it is in his best interest that mechanical ventilation be withdrawn.”
A new hearing is scheduled for May 12 to review Archie’s case. Justice Morgan described Archie’s case as “incredibly tragic” and said she hoped a solution would be found.
Keen gymnast and MMA fighter Archie never regained consciousness after his mother found him unconscious, hanging with a rope wrapped under his chin at his family’s home in Southend-on-sea.
She said: ‘Archie and I had been shopping and we came home together on April 7th.
Hollie said she saw Archie dangling but couldn’t pick him up and undo the knot, so she ran into the street screaming for help. In the photo: Archie’s brother Tom visiting him in the hospital.
“We’d had a perfect afternoon, I was in my room when Archie walked in with this bag and a cheeky look on his face. He was going to make fun of me, that’s how he is, always nervous.
He offered me a piece of candy, 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 came out of my room and I sent him a couple of text messages.
“A few minutes had passed and I thought he was quiet but I wasn’t worried, he’s 12, he doesn’t need me standing next to him in the house all the time.”
I went out of my room and called him and that’s when I saw the rabbit.
“When I got closer, I could also see that Archie was hanging there.
Hollie said she was screaming and panicking when a neighbor, Joe, called an ambulance and took over CPR until help arrived for Archie.
“I tried to undo the rope and lower it, but it was so heavy that I couldn’t lift it and undo the knot.
“I couldn’t get it off, but I could move it off his neck, so I took the pressure off his neck and ran out into the street screaming for help. I went back to Archie and managed to break the cord.
‘Archie fell to the ground then and I was screaming and panicking. A neighbor, Joe, came and called an ambulance and took over CPR until help arrived.’
Hollie said she thought it was a “freak accident” until someone contacted her and told her the children were participating in an online challenge. Pictured: Chase High School supporting Archie with purple ribbons
Archie was rushed to Southend University Hospital and later transferred to Royal London, where he is still dependent on mechanical ventilation. In the picture: Archie in the hospital with Hollie
Archie, a student at Chase High School in Southend, was rushed to Southend University Hospital and later transferred to Royal London, where he is still dependent on mechanical ventilation.
Hollie said: “At first I thought it was a ‘freak accident’ and that Archie was playing with the wire and the rabbit, but ever since it happened I wonder if Archie might have been taking part in an ‘online challenge’.”
‘Someone contacted me to say they had heard of children getting head restraints as part of an online challenge. It may not be, but I don’t rule it out.
Archie’s sister Lauren (right) has created an Instagram page since Archie’s accident, while a GoFundMe page for him has raised over £11,000 in donations so far.
Hollie said that the donations raised will be used for any future treatment 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.
Famous fighters like David Haye and Ricky Hatton have sent videos of support through the social media page.
A gofundme for Archie has also raised over £11,000 so far in donations.
Hollie says the money is for possible future treatments he may need and they aren’t ruling out the possibility of taking him abroad.
Hollie added: ‘Archie and I tell each other that quitting is not an option. I’m going to exhaust all avenues.
‘He is our champion, we are very proud of all his achievements. He is an elite gymnast and has huge potential to be an MMA champion. He loves to train and we want him to get back to doing what he loves to do. We will not give up on him.
If you want to support Archie’s family you can donate here: https://gofund.me/3fcbad0c