Archie Battersbee: mum Hollie Dance reveals final conversation with son before life support withdrawn

Archie Battersbee’s mum Hollie Dance said she told her son: “I was telling him how much I loved him, and I can’t wait to be with him again.”

The mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who died after being taken off life support, has revealed her final worlds to her son before his life support was turned off.

Hollie Dance said she told her beloved “I’m so proud of him” before he died on August 6 in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, after weeks of legal wrangling.

She told ITV Anglia: “My friend videoed it for me that morning, having the conversation with Archie.

“Telling him that I’m so proud of him and I’m so proud to be his mum. He was the best little boy ever.

“I was stroking his face and stroking his hair... I was telling him how much I loved him, and I can’t wait to be with him again.

“I was telling him how special he was... That I’m going to love him forever, and I’m so sorry that it’s come to this. And I tried everything I can.”

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His family said they "want something good to come out of this tragedy" as they vowed to call for "change"

Archie had been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother at his home in Southend, Essex, on April 7 and was being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.

Doctors treating him for the four months leading up to Archie’s death declared him to be “brain-stem dead”, prompting a lengthy legal battle by his family to continue his life support treatment in the hope he would recover.

Judges sided with the hospital in a series of court hearings.

Ms Dance, 46, said her family felt “stripped” of rights after Barts NHS Health Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital, took the case to court.

“I feel we were stripped of all our rights and backed into a corner by the system and, I’ve explained before, it felt like we were on trial,” she said.

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She told the BBC that the experience “drained” her, and made her “anxious all the time”.

“I felt exhausted, it was an emotional rollercoaster,” she added.

Archie Battersbee suffered brain damage in an incident at home on April 7 and did not regain consciousness

Ms Dance also said Archie’s last moments in the hospital were “awful”, but that she had no regrets about challenging the decision.

She said: “If I had to go through it again, I would still fight equally as hard for Archie or any of my children. It was awful, there was so much stress on everyone involved, it’s heart breaking.”

“Change is needed,” she said. “As if it’s not a traumatic time enough, you’re faced with fighting the system… I wasn’t prepared to do that, we were backed into a corner. It was the hospital that took us to court, not the other way round.”

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She added: “It was hard, stressful and unnecessary, we need change.”

Ms Dance said she has been “taking each hour as it comes” since Archie’s death.

“It was my daughter’s 21st birthday yesterday… no-one really feels in a celebrating mood,” she said.

Hollie Dance surrounded by family and friends, outside the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, east London, after the death of her 12-year-old son Archie Battersbee Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Following Archie’s death, Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer at Barts Health NHS Trust, said that “treatment was withdrawn in line with court rulings about his best interests”.

He added: “Members of his family were present at the bedside and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences remain with them at this difficult time.

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“The trust would like to thank the medical, nursing and support staff in the paediatric intensive care department who looked after Archie following his awful accident.

“They provided high quality care with extraordinary compassion over several months in often trying and distressing circumstances.

“This tragic case not only affected the family and his carers but touched the hearts of many across the country.”