The European Court of Human Rights have rejected an appeal to keep Archie on life support
The 12-year-old has been in a coma since April and may soon be taken off life support, leaving many asking what happened to Archie Battersbee?
Archie Battersbee was hospitalized after attempting the blackout challenge, a dangerous TikTok trend that has recently emerged on the platform. Found unconscious by his mum at home, Archie’s sad story has resonated with parents across the country, generating widespread sympathy and a reminder of the devastating effects social media can have.
After nearly four months in a coma, doctors have decided to end the 12-year-old’s life support – though his parents are fighting to give him more time. Here’s what happened to Archie Battersbee.
How did Archie Battersbee get injured?
Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, believes he sustained his brain damage from taking part in a viral social media challenge, after she found him unconscious at their home on 7 April, 2022.
The trend is known as ‘the blackout challenge’ (also the ‘choking challenge’ or the ‘pass-out challenge’) and is one of the latest in a series of dangerous trends surfacing on TikTok. The challenge has already resulted in the deaths of eight-year-old Lalani Erika Renee Walton from Texas and nine-year-old Arriani Jaileen Arroyo from Wisconsin. Both the girls were apparently avid TikTok users and liked to post videos on the app.
How did Archie get brain damage?
The blackout challenge results in a lack of oxygen to the brain, which can be deadly. Although it’s not known for certain if Archie was attempting the challenge, his mother believes this to be the case, after she found him with a ligature (a piece of knotted or tied fabric) round his head.
Dr Nick Flynn explained to the Irish Examiner the effects of the blackout challenge. He said: “What is actually going on in the brain is a lack of oxygen similar to when someone is drowning, choking, or having a cardiac arrest. If you have low oxygen to the brain for over three minutes you can get brain damage and if you have low oxygen to the brain for over five minutes it can result in death.”
WHY IS ARCHIE IN A COMA?
Archie never regained consciousness after his mother found him at home in early April, and he has been in a coma as a result of his injury ever since.
His parents are fighting a legal battle to keep Archie on life support, in which a specialist told the judge that Archie’s brain-stem was significantly damaged, and that there are signs of deterioration since the earlier scans taken in mid-April.
He added that Archie’s prognosis was ‘very grave’ and his chances of recovery were ‘very low’.
However, Archie’s mother, Ms Dance, says that his stable heartbeat and ability to regulate his temperature and blood pressure is a reason to give him more time.
💔So heartbreaking for Archie Battersbee family. Disgusted by vile comments on twitter about their fight to keep him alive like any parent won't do the same. Life support will be removed tomorrow. So sorry for their loss. An awful tragedy to happen to this beautiful young boy💔 https://t.co/QGKqK8rnY4— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) August 1, 2022
Why is Archie on life support?
Doctors say that Archie is brain-stem dead, and therefore can’t live without life support. They also say that it is in his best interest for his life support to end.
Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 57, from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, have been fighting a legal battle against Barts NHS trust since May in order to keep their son on life support. However, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel – where Archie is being treated – made the decision to end his care at 2pm on Monday 1 August.
Archie’s parents were granted a hearing that same morning after the health secretary asked the courts to ‘urgently consider’ a request from the United Nations to continue his treatment.
ARCHIE BATTERSBEE COURT BATTLE – LATEST UPDATE
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have refused an application from Archie’s parents to postpone the withdrawal of his life support, saying it ‘would not interfere’ with the UK courts’ rulings.
Previously, the Court of Appeal had ruled that Archie’s life-sustaining treatment should not continue, and the Supreme Court also rejected an appeal on on 2 August.
Following this, Hollie Dance said “Our solicitors will be filing to the European Court of Human Rights. They’ve been given a strict timeline of 09:00. Again, no time whatsoever.
“Every single court case we’ve had we’ve had no time at all, one or two days to prepare and get the whole case together.”
The family have now said they want to file an application in the High Court to transfer Archie to a hospice, however doctors have warned there is ‘considerable risk’ in moving him.
Barts Health NHS Trust has said Archie’s treatment will end at 11am on Thursday 4 August unless the family apply to the High Court by 9am to move him to a hospice.
Lawyers for the Trust said in a letter “The trust continues to put Archie’s welfare and best interests at the forefront of its decision making about his care. It believes that Archie’s condition is unstable and that transferring him even a short distance involves significant risk.”