Hundreds attend Archie Battersbee's vigil leaving his mum 'so touched'
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Archie Battersbee's mum, Hollie Dance, has described herself as 'so touched' after hundreds of people turned up to a vigil for her late son.
The 12-year-old was taken off life support and died last Saturday (6 August) after numerous efforts by his mum to delay the withdrawal of treatment and have him transferred to a hospice.
Dance contacted the government as well as the United Nations and filed a number of appeals after doctors determined he was brain-stem dead and should be allowed to die. However, Dance said Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel ultimately made it clear she had no more options, and that Archie's life support would be withdrawn.
Just over a week after the 12-year-old's passing, family, friends and supporters of Archie gathered in Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea to pay tribute to the young boy.
Attendees carried purple balloons and used violet ribbons to tie tributes to Archie to trees in the area. Some attendees also wore purple t-shirts with the words 'Archie's Army' on the front, in keeping with the purple colour scheme of the vigil.
Speaking to ITV News about the turnout, Dance said: "These are people from his home town, I didn't actually expect as many people to be here. Just people coming up saying they've followed Archie from the start and his journey... it's really touching."
Dance also offered her thanks to those in attendance, addressing the crowd as she said: "“Thank you so, so much for supporting us while we were in that awful place.
“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.”
Dance has previously made clear she will 'continue this fight' after she was unable to get Archie's life support extended, saying she has 'no intention of giving up' and that her son would 'definitely want [her] to continue'.
"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, adding: "Things have got to change."
The mother told those at the vigil she'd like her son to be remembered 'for the fun-loving little boy that he was', describing him as 'energetic, very sporty [and] very talented'.
Archie was found unconscious at his home on 7 April and never regained consciousness. His mother believes he suffered head injuries after taking part in an online challenge.