Heartbroken dad 'suffers stroke' before judges rule to switch off son Archie's life support

Heartbroken dad 'suffers stroke' before judges rule to switch off son Archie's life support

Archie has been in a comatose condition since April 7 when he was found unconscious with a ligature around his neck.

In a heartbreaking story, a father suffered a heart attack or stroke shortly before a judge ruled that the man's son could be taken off life support. Paul Battersbee's son, Archie Battersbee, suffered “catastrophic” brain damage in April and has been fighting for his life since. His parents have been begging the courts to give their son more time to recover and not be taken off life support. The Royal London Hospital believes that the boy, who was found unconscious at his home in Essex on April 7, is brain dead. The judges ruled that all the boy's functions are being fully supported artificially. “He is someone whose every bodily function is now maintained by artificial means,” said Sir Andrew McFarlane, one of the three judges. The boy's mother, Hollie Dance, had earlier pleaded with the judges to hold off giving the ruling stating that she had witnessed signs of Archie trying to breathe on his own, reported BBC.


Archie Battersbee’s father Paul Battersbee was taken ill shortly before the ruling to take his son off life-support. Battersbee was taken to the hospital ​​on Monday morning, July 25, where his condition worsened. The attorney representing Paul and his separated wife Hollie Dance had informed the three judges — Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lady Justice King, and Lord Justice Peter Jackson — of Paul’s condition but it didn't stop them from making the ruling. The judges have given a 48-hour delay to the ruling, giving the parents one last opportunity to appeal the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights. "As long as Archie is alive, I will never give up on him; he is too good to give up on. His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother, I know he is still in there. Until it's God's way I won't accept he should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead. We intend to appeal and will not give up on Archie,” said the boy's mother. Judge McFarlane said he was “extremely sympathetic” towards the parents and especially his father who had taken ill but said he did not see any reason to adjourn the verdict. “After careful thought, we refuse permission to appeal,” he said, before adding, “Archie is no longer the boy in the photograph." 

Archie Battersbee/GoFundMe
Archie Battersbee/GoFundMe



Archie was found unconscious in the family home with a ligature around his neck. Hollie Dance believes her son lost consciousness while doing an “internet challenge,” reported LondonWorld.
Archie was rushed to the Royal London Hospital and hasn't regained consciousness since. The doctors informed his parents that Archie suffered severe brain damage that indicated that “he may be brain stem dead.” The family rejected a test to confirm he was brain dead, forcing the trust to take the case to the High Court in London. 


On June 13, Justice Arbuthnot announced at the Family Division of the High Court in London that Archie was brain dead. “I find that Archie died at noon on May 31, 2022, which was shortly after the MRI scans taken that day. I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established. I give permission to the medical professionals at the Royal London Hospital to cease to ventilate mechanically Archie Battersbee,” said Arbuthnot." He has no pleasure in life and his brain damage is irrecoverable. His position is not going to improve. The downside of such a hurried death is the inability of his loving and beloved family to say goodbye.”


Hollie Dance was furious. “I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge's ruling after weeks of fighting a legal battle when I wanted to be at my little boy's bedside. Basing this judgment on an MRI test and that he is 'likely' to be dead, is not good enough. This is believed to be the first time that someone has been declared 'likely' to be dead based on an MRI test.” Andrea Williams, chief executive of a campaign organization called the Christian Legal Center, said the boy's mother was disgusted with the ruling. “I am very disappointed that they have not adjourned this decision given that Mr. Battersbee has been taken to hospital. I’ve been in touch with Archie’s mother — she is disgusted.” 

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the family fund their legal battle, and raised more than $35,000.  

Cover image source: GoFundMe

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