Archie Battersbee: I'll hear the machines that keep my son alive beeping for the rest of my life, says devastated mum | The Sun

STRICKEN Archie Battersbee's tormented mum has revealed she will hear the machines keeping her son alive "for the rest of my life".

Archie, 12, was found with a ligature over his head after a social media dare at home in Southend, Essex on April 7 this year.

The youngster suffered brain damage in the "freak accident" and hasn't woken since.

His parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee have been battling to keep his life support switched on but medics will switch the treatment off at 10am today.

Hollie has now told how Archie's machines in hospital were "constantly beeping" up until a month ago.

She believes now they have "calmed", this means they are showing "progress".

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The mum told the Daily Mail: "“They are still the backdrop to my world though.

"Whatever happens I think I will hear those machines for the rest of my life.”

Yesterday, Hollie and Paul, 56, lost a last-ditch legal bid to have their boy, 12, taken out of the Royal London Hospital and transferred to a hospice.

His desperate parents wanted him to be able to "spend his last moments" in peace – without nurses and doctors.

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Hollie and Paul went to the Court of Appeal in a bid to challenge the High Court ruling, but it was shot down last night.

Agonised mum Hollie said: "I know I did everything I could. Everything. I know I’ve done a very good job being Archie’s mum.

"Based on my own childhood I was determined to be as good as a mother as I can possibly be and I feel like I have done that to the very best of my ability. It’s one of the reasons I am here."

She also revealed her frustrations with the legal case, which has seen her embroiled in several last-ditch attempts to save her son.

Hollie said: "All I have ever asked is to get him to six months – where is the harm in that for them?

"They have spent a fortune on legal fees fighting me in court – money they could have spent on Archie’s care and others’.

"At its heart this has been a case about a mother’s love, but also their rights. At what point did Archie’s dad and I lose our parental rights in terms of deciding what we want for our child?"


That question is one of the reasons why Hollie disagrees with so much that the doctors have told her, with Archie's condition believed to be too unstable to sustain a transfer.

The tragic ordeal has been incredibly stressful, and with the support of the charity Christian Concern, they’ve frequently stayed up until the small hours to meet frantic court deadlines.

And Hollie has said that although "the pressure has been immense" she can't "break down" while fighting for her son.

The mum added: "Time after time we have been told at the last minute that we have until 9am the following day to sort our submissions. It has been very difficult.

"All the way through I haven’t had a chance to process everything that has happened.

"Maybe that’s why I have never felt surprised by the outcomes. Upset of course but not surprised, because it felt like the odds were stacked against us from the start.

"Most of the time it felt less like a hearing than a trial, like I was on trial."

Hollie confesses that she does get some sleep but often wakes up every 40 minutes to check Archie's machines.

All I have known is that I can’t let my guard down and break down emotionally because the second I do that I won’t have the strength to fight for my little boy."

Archie was found with a ligature over his head after a social media dare at home in Southend, Essex, on April 7 this year.

His mum believes he was taking part in an incredibly dangerous online "blackout" challenge – also known as the "choking" challenge. 

The youngster suffered brain damage in the "freak accident" and has been unresponsive ever since.

Hollie has also had to deal with cruel social media trolls, who have relentlessly targeted her, accusing her of everything from being a liar to an unfit mother. 

She told the publication: "Others have published my address, which jeopardises my son and daughter’s safety.

"I try not to engage with it because for every one troll there are a thousand wonderful people out there and these nasty-minded souls are not important but it’s hard. 

"Anyone seen coming to court with me that been targeted too, sent vile messages on social media."

It was revealed on Wednesday that Hollie may give her son mouth-to-mouth if doctors withdraw oxygen when his machines are switched off.

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The mum has vowed to "continue to give him oxygen" if doctors switch off the 12-year-old's machine and is "prepared to do anything" to keep him alive.

Some detractors acknowledge her deep love for her son but believe passionately that Hollie should place her trust in the experts.

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