Indi Gregory: Archie Battersbee's mum 'heartbroken' at family's struggle

Hollie Dance speaking outside the inquest into her son Archie Battersbee's death. 
Credit: PA
Hollie Dance said: "We have to do something to try and change this. Parents are powerless in this situation." Credit: PA

The mother of Archie Battersbee has admitted she was “heartbroken” to hear the family of Indi Gregory were going through the same legal battles she had to try to save her son.

Hollie Dance attended eight-month-old Indi’s funeral on Friday, and said she had offered her support to the youngster's parents when she learned of their fight for specialist treatment to continue.

Twelve-year-old Archie’s life support was withdrawn on 6 August 2022 after Ms Dance and Archie’s dad, Paul Battersbee, failed in bids to overturn a High Court ruling that doctors could lawfully do so.

Speaking after Indi’s funeral at Nottingham Cathedral, Ms Dance said the baby girl’s plight left her devastated as her son’s death was still “raw”.

She found her son unconscious with a ligature over his head at home in Southend, Essex, on 7 April last year and he was rushed to hospital.

The youngster suffered brain damage and died in August after a High Court judge ruled that ending life support treatment was in his best interests.

Explaining why she decided to offer her support to Indi’s parents, Ms Dance said she did the same when she heard about the case of 20-year-old roofer Andy Casey, who suffered a brain injury after he was punched in the head in July.

Indi Gregor, left, and Archie Battersbee. Credit: Family handout

She said: “I reached out to let them know I was there for them, supporting them going forward with their fight. I said, whatever you decide to do, just know we are all behind you.

“It’s a lot to go through. You really are alone, I didn’t have family with me, my family were my close friends and the support from my hometown and from the rest of the world was amazing.”

Ms Dance said the pain of her son’s death comes flooding back when she hears of families going through similar situations.

She said: “It is still very raw, I’m still fighting in so many ways and I don’t think I’ve been able to grieve for my little boy because you are constantly in fight mode.

“I so want to celebrate Archie’s beautiful life but I can’t because I’m still fighting the system. He was such a beautiful precious child.

“He gave me 12 years of happiness and love. He was such a beautiful little boy. I play his videos and memories every single day.

“It brings it all back. It is still so raw. These beautiful children had life in them. I was fighting because I believed my little boy was there and he had a chance.”

Ms Dance says she is still fighting for “justice” after her son’s death.

She said: “We have to do something to try and change this. Parents are powerless in this situation.

“Parents need to have more say, we grow these babies inside us, we carry them, and the fact all your rights are taken away – we weren’t allowed to take Archie to a hospice, or take him home, or the two countries that offered to help us.

“If the parent doesn’t want to fight, that’s totally fine, it’s their choice, but if you are given hope in another country, you should be allowed to do that.”

A coroner overseeing the inquest into Archie's death concluded in February that the 12-year-old died accidentally in a "prank or experiment" which went wrong.

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