Archie Battersbee: What happened to him, can parents appeal High Court verdict & what was ‘online challenge’?

Archie Battersbee’s mum, Hollie Dance, has vowed to move heaven and earth to overturn the High Court decisiomn.

The parents of 12 year-old Archie Battersbee have had their request to appeal the High Court judgement that the machines keeping their beloved son alive could be turned off.

The case will now go to the Court of Appeal after High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot ruled the machines could be turned off because he “is brain stem dee

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Archie was left severely brain damaged after he was found unconscious at his home on April.

Archie’s mother believes her son suffered acute brain damage while carrying out an ‘online challenge’.

Earlier this month, doctors told the High Court, London that Archie’s brain has been irreparably damaged to the point they recommend turning off the machines keeping him alive.

Archie’s parents disagreed and wanted the doctors to give their son more time.

High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, delivered her verdict on Monday June 13.

On Monday, the same Mrs. Jusctice Arbuthnot told Ms. Dance and Archie’s father, Mr. Paul Battersbee, that they could appeal the High Court verdict.

Mrs. Jusctice Arbuthnot said there was a “compelling reason” why appeal judges should consider the case.

How did Archie’s parents react?

Ms. Dance and Mr. Battersbee said they were expecting Mrs. Jusctice Arbuthnot to reject their appeal.

“We were all really convinced that we weren’t going to get permission to appeal,” said a spokesperson for the family after the announcement.

“So we’re more than happy at the decision – we’re delighted.”

Archie Battersbee. (Photo: Hollie Dance)

What was the High Court judge’s verdict?

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said Archie died at noon on May 31 based on MRI scans taken that day.

She said: “I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established.

“I give permission to the medical professionals at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, to cease to ventilate mechanically Archie Battersbee.”

Archie Battersbee.

What happened to Archie Battersbee?

On April 7, 2022, Hollie Dance, found her son, Archie, unconscious and with a ligature around his neck.

Ms. Dance believes her son lost consciousness while doing an “internet challenge”.

Archie was admitted to the Royal London Hospital and has not regained consciousness.

How have medical experts assessed Archie’s condition?

The doctors treating Archie said the machines keeping him alive should be turned off.

Earlier this week, doctors told the High Court in London that Archie is “very likely” to be “brain-stem dead”.

A specialist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that tests revealed no “discernible” brain activity, but revealed “significant areas of tissue necrosis”.

The specialist added: “We believe that it is very likely that he is brain-stem dead.”

A recent statement from the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, states “our thoughts and sympathies are with Archie’s family at this time.”

What next for Archie and his family?

Archie’s mum, Hollie Dance, 46, has vowed to do everything within her power to keep Archie alive in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

A campaign organisation that is helping Archie’s mum and dad, called the Christian Legal Centre is supporting Archie’s family.

Andrea Williams, its chief executive, said after an earlier ruling was made for tests: “This case raises the significant moral, legal and medical question as to when a person is dead.

“Archie’s parents do not accept that he is dead and are fighting for his life.”

Hollie Dance, mum of Archie Battersbee speaking on This Morning to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield

In May, Ms Dance said: “Everyone is in such a rush.

“I’m asking the judge to just give him more time – give him time to fight back.

“It’s only been five weeks – it took me longer to get over the flu. What’s the rush?”

Ms Dance appeared on ITV breakfast programme, This Morning, on Thursday.

Presenter Holly Willoughby was brought to tears as she listened to Archie’s mum talk about what happened to her son.

Ms Dance told Holly Willoughby that since Archie was admitted to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel he has opened his eyes and has gripped her hand.

“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,” said mum of three, Ms Dance.