Archie Battersbee vigil attracts hundreds of people as his mother vows ‘things have got to change’

Archie Battersbee vigil attracts hundreds of people as his mother vows 'things have got to change'

Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to Archie Battersbee, the 12-year-old whose life support was withdrawn after a lengthy court battle.

A crowd gathered with affectionate signs at the bandstand in Priory Park in Southend, Essex, Archie’s home town, on Sunday.

Cards and purple balloons – many later released into the sky – had messages written on them and were hung upon a pine tree.

The messages included “a mother’s love”, featuring a photograph of Archie and his mother Hollie Dance.

Children were in attendance and played with bubbles, and one attendee lit a purple flare as a mark of respect.

Ms Dance addressed the crowd to thank them.

“Thank you so, so much for supporting us while we were in that awful place,” she said.

“I hope you all stand by me in trying to change this law, Archie’s army, so that no more of our children and their parents go through this.”

Read more:
A mother’s fight for her son – the Archie Battersbee case

Archie’s mother spoke to journalists earlier in the evening, describing the last few months as “really hard”.

“It was a fight for my little boy’s life. If I had to go back and do it again, I would fight equally hard,” she said.

“I will continue this fight. I have got no intention of giving up, Archie wouldn’t want me to give up, he would definitely want me to continue.

“Things have got to change.”

Archie Battersbee. Pic: Hollie Dance
Image:
Archie Battersbee died earlier this month. Pic: Hollie Dance

Archie died on 6 August at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, after a prolonged legal fight.

The boy had been in a coma since 7 April, when his mother found him unconscious at their home.

Doctors treating him said he was “brain-stem dead” and was only being kept alive by medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.

His family had fought to continue his life support treatment in the hope that Archie would recover.

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