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Archie Battersbee’s mum has revealed what she said to her son after a high court judge ruled that he is ‘dead’.
The schoolboy, 12, is in a coma after reportedly participating in an online ‘blackout challenge’ popularised by TikTok.
A judge ruled yesterday that the hospital could switch off the boy’s life support machine after his parents fought to keep him alive.
Archie’s parents – Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56 – argued that despite his critical condition, there was a possibility of recovery.
Hollie, pictured below, broke the news to her son, who has been in a coma for 10 weeks, in the hospital telling him: “Archie, we’ve lost this fight, but we won’t give up, we’ll keep fighting.”
She said: “I stroked his hair and held his hand and said we’d keep fighting.
“He’s a 12-year-old boy who’s been given a death sentence. I’m not going to give up, this is just the start of the fight.
“I’ve been tortured for weeks but he’s my boy and I won’t give up. We will appeal.”
The family’s ordeal began on 7 April, when Hollie discovered Archie with a ligature around his neck after apparently taking part in the online challenge.
The blackout challenge encourages participants to choke themselves until they blackout.
Despite Archie’s critical condition, Hollie is arguing that her son should be given more time to recover.
Prior to the High Court ruling, she said: “I’m devastated, the hospital has had Covid patients in a coma on ventilators for three months, it’s longer than Archie has been in hospital.”
In her ruling, Justice Arbuthnot argued that medical staff at the Royal London Hospital could turn off Archie’s life support after an MRI scan two weeks ago showed he is brain dead.
Hollie said after the ruling: “I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge’s ruling after weeks of fighting a legal battle when I wanted to be at my little boy’s bedside.
“The medical opinion presented in court was clear, in that the whole concept of ‘brain death’ is now discredited."
The mum continued: “I feel sickened that the hospital and judge have failed to take the wishes of his family into consideration.
“I don’t believe Archie has been given enough time. From the beginning, I have always thought, ‘What’s the rush?’
“His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother and by my mother’s instinct, I know my son is still there.”
The ‘blackout challenge’ has been around since around 2008, People reports, but it has recently found a new audience on TikTok.
It has claimed the lives of over 80 people, according to the CDC.
Featured Image Credit: Credit: PA
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