12 Year Old Archie Battersbee in Danger of Losing Life Support after Accident which Led to Family's Conversion to Catholicism

In the United Kingdom, a twelve year old boy, who suffered a head injury caused by accidental suffocation, is in danger of losing life support. The family, of the young Archie Battersbee, is in a legal battle against the London hospital doctors who want his life support removed. A judge ruled life-threatening tests within days. 
The mother asks “a chance at life” for her son. However, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot at the Family Division of the High Court in London ruled last May, that 12-year-old Archie Battersbee’s must undergo potentially dangerous brain-stem tests this week. This begins the process to remove his life-support, and is in his “best interests”.
The whole family converted to Catholicism just after the accident. Hollie Dance and her family, were baptised into the Roman Catholic Church last Easter. The Catholic Church at the end of the road where they live in Southend caught Archie’s attention. He regularly watched the parishioners enter and leave the church at a distance but felt too shy to go in.  Ella told the Daily Compass, “since last Christmas, Archie began to ask his mum insistently if he could be baptised a Catholic but Hollie kept putting the decision off until his tragic accident”. In hospital, she fulfilled her son’s desire. His baptism took place on Easter Sunday, Ms Dance and her two children, Lauren 20 and Tom 22 were baptised the following day on Easter Monday.

Last year, she found her youngest son Archie, a competitive MMA fighter and keen gymnast, unconscious, hanging from a ligature tied under his chin, at the top of the stairs, in what she describes as a “freak accident” or an “online challenge gone wrong”. Since that day, Archie has never fully regained consciousness. Specialists treating him at The Royal London Hospital have said, it is “highly likely” he is already brain dead and have told his mother, it is now time to withdraw Archie’s life-support and have asked if she would donate her son’s organs.
Ms Dance, 46, and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, 56, from Essex in England, disagree. She has replied by publicly vowing that she “won’t give up” fighting for her son’s life. She told the court, “Archie had a severe brain injury only four weeks ago, that’s not enough time to see what he can do.” “It took me five weeks to get over the flu”. “I've been told he's brain dead from day three of him being in there.” “Everyone is in such a rush,” she said, begging Archie’s doctors to “watch and wait” with her for signs of possible healing before an end of life decision is broached.
Archie’s mother has been keeping a bed-side vigil next to her son since he was taken into hospital. She describes how not long after the accident, Archie “began to open his eyes”. “When his ventilator tube was being replaced, tears appeared in his eyes” and “he has squeezed my fingers with a tight grip. I think that’s his way of letting me know he’s still here and just needs more time”. Also Archie’s sister Lauren has described a similar life experience when she held her brother’s hand and Ella his sister-in-law told the Daily Compass a few days ago, “ Archie opens his eyes more frequently and his knuckles go white now from the tension of holding your hand so tight”.

Such personal experiences over the last month have convinced Archie’s family he is not brain dead and that these movements are not just nerve reflexes as his doctors presume. They believe Archie is communicating his desire to live. They don’t deny his condition is very critical but believe with time, the right medical treatment and their unconditional love and care, he could make progress. The brain-stem tests on her son, in her view, would put Archie at risk of complicating his medical state, are clinically unreliable, but also untimely at this particular stage of her son’s recovery. Barts Health NHS Trust which runs The Royal London Hospital, responded by taking her to court to get permission.
During the private court hearing, Bruno Quintavalle representing the family also contended the utility of the brain-stem tests, which include an apnea test for which the patient is disconnected from an artificial ventilator for between 5 to10 minutes. 
The doctors are ready to suppress Archie’s young life, the lawyer informed the court, his parents are “very concerned” that their son had not received treatment to relieve swelling on his brain. “The concern is that he may be suffering every day more damage which could have been avoided”.
Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing Barts Health NHS Trust, told the court, “it is highly unlikely he will ever recover consciousness”. 
The Trust intends to persevere with obtaining legal permission to withdraw his mechanical ventilation. A Do Not Attempt Resuscitation form (DNAR) has already been put in Archie’s medical file in the incase of a heart attack. His death, which couldn’t be sooner, in their professional opinion, would be an act of mercy releasing him from his agony. 
Ms Dance put it this way to the press, “until it’s God’s way I won’t accept he [Archie] should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead. He may not be the same as he was but if there’s the possibility he could live a happy life after this, I want to give it to him.” 

Support for Archie and his family started with his sister Lauren on an Instagram page @spreadthepurplewave  mapping Archie’s journey. A Citizen go page, has raised money in donations. Christian Concern, a campaign organization is also supporting the family. A healing prayer service held live on Facebook every Sunday, is led by the hospital chaplain, with the participation of prayer groups from Australia, Spain, America, Italy and Ukraine.
For many, the UK National Health Service and the judges who rule on their behalf, don’t have the answer.
This case is similar to that of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard and many others. 
 Sources: https://christianconcern.com/cccases/archie-battersbee/