Archie Battersbee: Hundreds gather for vigil after 12-year-old schoolboy dies

Vigil by Archie Battersbee

Mum Hollie Dance fought for her son to the end but the courts ruled against her (Image: PA)

Hundreds of people have gathered to remember Archie Battersbee, 12, who died after being taken off life support despite pleas from his parents for it to continue.

Purple balloons reading “Forever in our hearts” were released into the sky on Sunday to honor the “beautiful little boy”.

A purple torch was lit as a mark of respect as crowds gathered in Priory Park in Archie’s hometown of Southend, Essex.

Cards with the message “Motherly Love” and pictures of the schoolboy and his mother, Hollie Dance, hung from a pine tree.

Archie suffered “catastrophic” brain damage after being found unconscious at his home on April 7.

Doctors said he was “brain dead” and should be taken off his ventilator.

But his parents said their boy is “still around and just needs more time”.

After a long struggle, they finally exhausted all legal options to put him on life support and he died on August 6th.

In a speech to mourners, his mother Hollie Dance pledged to continue her fight for a change in the law.

People release purple balloons during a vigil at Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea in memory of Archie Battersbee, who died in hospital after weeks of legal battles. Picture date: Sunday August 14, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story MEMORIAL Archie. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

People release purple balloons during a vigil at Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea (Image: PA)

Hollie Dance attends a vigil at Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea in memory of her son Archie Battersbee, who died in hospital after weeks of legal battles. Picture date: Sunday August 14, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story MEMORIAL Archie. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Hollie has vowed to continue her fight to change the law (Image: PA)

Alamy Live News. 2JNYDDD Priory Park, Southend on Sea, Essex, UK. 08th Aug, 2022. People have gathered in Priory Park in the hometown of Archie Battersbee to pay tribute to the 12-year-old boy who died this week after his life support was turned off after months of litigation by the family in an attempt to continue treatment. Family, friends and members of the public were invited to join in prayer and song, with messages of support laid down. Purple ribbons and cards were attached to trees. Credit: Avpics/Alamy Live News This is an image from Alamy Live News and may not be part of your current Alamy deal. If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to verify.

Pictures of Archie and his mother were seen hanging at the vigil (Image: Alamy Live News)

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The ‘beautiful boy’ was taken off life support on August 6 (Image: PA)

Thanking attendees for their support, she said: “Thank you for supporting us when we were in this horrific place.

“I hope you all stand with me as I try to change this law, Archie’s Army, so our children and their parents don’t have to go through this anymore.”

The grieving mother later said the past few months had been “really tough” for her.

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

“I will continue this fight. I have no intention of giving up.

“Archie wouldn’t want me to give up, he would definitely want me to keep going. Things have to change.”

She added that Archie’s previously expressed beliefs should have been considered during their lengthy court battle to save him.

“Archie’s beliefs and Archie’s religion, what Archie would have wanted, just wasn’t considered – it was just swept under the rug,” she said.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/08/15/archie-battersbee-hundreds-gather-at-vigil-after-schoolboy-12-dies-17182536/ Archie Battersbee: Hundreds gather for vigil after 12-year-old schoolboy dies

Justin Scacco

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