Archie Battersbee: Mum Hollie Dance 'begging judge for more time' for brain-damaged son, 12

Hollie Dance and Archie Battersbee
Credit: PA Media
Archie Battersbee has been unconscious for two months, and his mother Hollie Dance believes treatment should continue. Credit: PA Media

The mother of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support dispute said she is "begging the judge to give him time" before making a final decision over his future.

Archie Battersbee has been unconscious since being found at home on 7 April, and experts say his brain damage is so severe that the chance of recovery are very low.

His mother Hollie Dance has been at his bedside throughout treatment, and said she believed she had seen signs he could recover.

"I don't think I'm just fooling myself. I'm quite honest," she told GMB.

"What I do know is as a mother my gut feeling tells me my little boy is in there and I will continue to fight for him."

She added: "I'm begging the judge to give him time."

Archie Battersbee's family are fighting for his life-support treatment to continue. Credit: PA Media

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, say life-support treatment should end.

But the youngster's parents, Ms Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend in Essex, are disputing that assessment and want their son to be given more time.

"I have had to go into fight mode and it's not fair," said Ms Dance. "I should be grieving."

She said Archie had squeezed her hand in his hospital bed - a sign that gave her hope.

"Of course he's not jumping up and boxing and shouting out and doing his gymnastics off the bed. I don't expect that," she said.

"But the fact that he is doing these little things [like squeezing her my hand] is progress."

A final hearing is being heard at the Family Division of the High Court in London, where Mrs Justice Arbuthnot has been asked by the hospital's governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, to decide what moves are in Archie's best interests.

She visited Archie in hospital ahead of the hearing this week, at the end of which a decision will be made on his future.

Archie was found unconscious at home two months ago with a ligature over his head, and Ms Dance believes he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

On Monday, a hospital specialist told the court that parts of Archie's brain had died and were decaying, and that the lower part of his brain stem was significantly damaged. There was also damage to the upper part, the specialist said.

He said Archie’s prognosis was “very grave” and told the judge that the youngster’s chances of recovery were “very low”.

However, lawyers for Archie's family said his heart was still beating, and there were issues over whether "correct procedures" had been followed, and whether the family's views had been taken into account.

The hearing is due to run until Wednesday.

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