I have done everything I promised my little boy I would do

Archie Battersbee has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April (Family Handout/PA) (PA Media)

Archie Battersbee has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April (Family Handout/PA) (PA Media)

The mother of Archie Battersbee has said she has done everything she promised her son she would do as the family prepares for his life support to be withdrawn on Saturday morning.

A final plea to the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in the case was rejected late on Friday, following a High Court ruling that he must remain at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

Archie’s parents had fought a protracted legal battle to withdraw treatment and in recent days have bid at the High Court, Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatment.

Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance have fought a long-running legal battle to withdraw treatment (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance have fought a long-running legal battle to withdraw treatment (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

In an interview with Sky News, recorded on Friday, Archie’s mother Hollie Dance, from Southend, Essex, said she is “quite devastated” and that the day had been “absolutely awful”.

She broke down and said: “The last few weeks than so many since April 7, I don’t think there’s been a day that hasn’t been really awful.”

Dance added: “It’s been very difficult. Despite the hard strong face and appearance obviously in front of the cameras until now, I’ve been pretty devastated.”

She said the hospital had made it clear there were no more options and life support would be withdrawn at 10am on Saturday.

Asked if there was anything more she can do, Dance replied: “No. I have done everything I promised my little boy I would do. And I have done it.”

Supporters brought flowers to the hospital on Saturday morning.

Shelley Elias, 43, said she had come to the Royal London Hospital because “I wanted his mum Hollie and the family to know I was thinking of them”.

Mrs Elias, a mother-of-two from Stepney, east London, who said she vaguely knew Archie’s mother, brought flowers, a card and some candles.

Hollie Dans with son Archie Battersbee in hospital (Family Issue/PA) (PA Media)

Hollie Dans with son Archie Battersbee in hospital (Family Issue/PA) (PA Media)

She said: “I didn’t know what to write because there are no words that will take away the pain.

“I just wanted the mom and her family to know that I’m here for them.

“My boy is 12, the same age as Archie, and this puts things into perspective. When things like this happen, you just think “I have nothing to moan about in life”.

Candles flickered in the shape of the letter “A” and also formed a love heart around a card with Archie’s name in a makeshift tribute at a statue outside the hospital.

It was made by passers-by who said they wanted to show their support.

A spokesman for campaign group Christian Concern, which supports Archie’s family, told the PA news agency: “All legal avenues have been exhausted.

“The family are devastated and are spending precious time with Archie.”

Barts Health NHS Trust did not immediately update its statement, instead referring to its previous position which said no changes would be made to Archie’s care “until the outstanding legal issues are resolved”.

In a High Court decision on Friday morning, Mrs Justice Theis concluded that it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice, and the Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal this decision.

Archie Battersbee with his mother Hollie Dance (Family Distribution/PA) (PA Media)

Archie Battersbee with his mother Hollie Dance (Family Distribution/PA) (PA Media)

Christian Concern said the family had wanted to challenge the High Court’s ruling, claiming there had been a breach of Articles Six and Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article six is ​​the right to a fair trial and article eight is the right to respect for private and family life.

A spokesman for the European Court of Justice said it had received a request from representatives of Archie’s parents under Rule 39, which allows it to use “provisional measures” in “exceptional” cases, and that the complaints “fell outside the scope” of that rule , and then it would not intervene.

Court of Appeal judges said Mrs Justice Theis’ ruling in the High Court dealt “complementarily with each of the points raised on behalf of the parents”.

The judges said they had “reached the clear conclusion that each of her decisions was correct for the reasons she gave”.

They added: “It follows that the proposed appeal has no prospect of success and there is no other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to entertain an appeal.”

The Court of Appeal also said one of the arguments presented by Archie’s parents was “legally flawed”, adding: “It is also not easy to understand as it seeks to argue that Archie’s best interests have ceased to be relevant.”

Doctors who have been treating the schoolboy for the past four months declared Archie to be “brain stem dead”, prompting a long but ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by his family to continue life support treatment in the hope that he would recover.

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