The 12-year-old’s short life came to a heartbreaking and high profile end much too soon (Picture: PA)
Archie Battersbee’s story has moved and shocked Britain in recent weeks.
For 121 agonising days, his family have been willing him to pull through and show signs he might one day emerge from the deep coma he fell into on April 7.
But try as they might, doctors and scientists couldn’t find even a sliver of hope that the 12-year-old would ever wake up.
The team treating him said it was in his best interests to switch off the array of machines keeping his heart beating.
His family sought to prevent that, beginning a court tussle which would wrestle with the gravest questions imaginable about life, death and the rights of parents over the experts tasked with caring for us.
Archie’s heartbroken family announced he died on Saturday afternoon, the culmination of a horrifying few months for them.
This is how that journey played out.
Archie is found unconscious by his mother, Hollie Dance, at her home in Southend, Essex. He has a ligature around his neck. She believes he was taking part in a TikTok challenge.
Barts Health NHS Trust, responsible for Archie’s care at the Royal London Hospital, asks the High Court for permission to test his brain stem, which is responsible for keeping people alive, and to withdraw mechanical ventilation.
Doctors think it ‘highly likely’ that the youngster is effectively dead, and say it is in his best interests that life-support treatment should stop.
The three Court of Appeal judges rule that doctors can lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to Archie. Again, the family announce plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Archie’s family fail to persuade the Supreme Court to intervene in the case.
With legal options running out, the family make a ‘last-ditch’ application to a UN committee to step in.
The hospital caring for Archie was due to be withdrawn on August 1 at 2pm but it was delayed when a new court hearing was scheduled with hours to go. It came have the government asked the Court of Appeal to ‘urgently consider’ a request while the UN committee assessed the case.
His family wanted treatment to continue but doctors agreed there was no chance he would wake up from a coma (Picture: PA)
The Court of Appeal rejects a request to postpone stopping Archie’s treatment. It says his life-support care will end at midday the following day.
Archie’s parents are refused permission to appeal against the latest ruling at the Supreme Court. Ms Dance says Barts Health NHS Trust will begin to withdraw Archie’s life support on August 3 at 11am unless the family have submitted an application to the ECHR by 9am that day.
The ECHR refuses the last-ditch application. Archie’s …read more