Archie Battersbee: Parents' joy as Court of Appeal orders new hearing over life-support treatment

Martha Fairlie reports from the Court of Appeal for ITV News.

The parents of Archie Battersbee have spoken of their joy after appeal court judges ordered a fresh hearing over their son's life-support treatment.

The 12-year-old at the centre of a court battle over his hospital care was declared to be dead by a judge at the High Court earlier this month, who gave permission to doctors to switch off his ventilator.

But his parents immediately appealed, and on Wednesday three judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that the case should be re-heard at the High Court, where a different judge would consider what was in Archie's best interests.

Speaking outside court, his mother Hollie Dance said: "It's so nice and lovely to hear that for the first time since Archie had this accident, this is all about Archie.

“The judges recognised that today - that was really touching.

“They were very fair judges… and Archie lives!" said Ms Dance, to cheers from Archie's father Paul Battersbee.

Archie Battersbee is on a life-support ventilator at the Royal London Hospital. Credit: Family photo

"The judges had so much compassion and empathy and really acknowledged that this is all about Archie and nobody else," she added.

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked High Court judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves were in Archie’s best interests.

Doctors treating youngsters at the hospital in Whitechapel, east London, had told earlier hearings they thought he was “brain-stem dead”.

Ms Dance said her son was "progressing really well" in hospital, and recognising his family.

"He is progressing in the right way," she said. "It might be slow but I said from the start we need time."

Archie Battersbee's mother Hollie Dance, centre, with his father Paul Battersbee and family friend Ella Carter. Credit: ITV News Anglia

She said she had researched similar cases which had shown children with brain injuries recovering after six months.

"The fact that he is already showing signs is a very positive step. He just needs time.

"That's all I've asked from day one - give him some time. I 100% know my son is still in there. I'm his mum and I know."

Mr Battersbee said the day could not have gone any better, adding: "It's nice to hear that he is alive again."

The family said they had received widespread support, and described a petition in support of Archie as "really moving and really comforting".

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