Archie Battersbee's mum 'so touched' that hundreds attended vigil

Archie's mum Hollie Dance said she was "so touched" by the people who turned out.
Credit: PA
Archie's mother Hollie Dance at the vigil. Credit: PA

Archie Battersbee's mother, Hollie Dance, said she was "so touched" that hundreds of people showed up to a vigil dedicated to her late son.

On Sunday, family, friends and locals gathered in Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea to remember the 12-year-old, who died on 6 August after a lengthy court battle over his life-support care.

"These are people from his home town, I didn't actually expect as many people to be here," Ms Dance told ITV News at the vigil.

"Just people coming up saying they've followed Archie from the start and his journey... it's really touching."

Archie Battersbee on life support

The vigil was purple-themed - tributes to Archie were tied to a tree with violet ribbons, while some attendees donned purple Archie's Army t-shirts.

One person lit a purple flare, holding it in the air as a mark of respect. Children played with bubbles as music played from speakers in the background.

Ms Dance wiped tears from her eyes as a bundle of purple balloons were released into the sky.

Crowds release purple balloons into the sky in memory of Archie.

Addressing the gathering, Archie’s mother thanked them for their support.

“Thank you so, so much for supporting us while we were in that awful place,” she said.

“I hope you all stand by me in trying to change this law, Archie’s army, so that no more of our children and their parents go through this.”

Asked how she'd like her son to be remembered, she said: "For the fun-loving little boy that he was. He's just energetic, very sporty, very talented little boy."

She had found Archie unconscious in their home with a ligature over his head on April 7.

Along with Archie's father, Ms Dance fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of Archie's treatment and made bids to the High Court, Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die.

However, a judge ruled it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice. He instead died at the Royal London Hospital.

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