The life of Archie Battersbee, who was at the center of a legal battle between his parents and the Royal London Hospital, was celebrated at a funeral with videos of him singing and exercising.
The 12-year-old’s life support was withdrawn on August 6 after his parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, failed to overturn a high court ruling that doctors could legally do so.
Magistrates were told that Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head at the home in Southend-on-Sea. The 12-year-old had been in a coma since suffering the devastating brain injury on April 7. He was kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.
His funeral was held at St Mary’s Church in Southend on Tuesday and the hundreds of mourners who attended wore black with some purple at the family’s request.
Paul Mackay, the vicar of St Mary’s, said there would be an eclectic mix of music and prayer to celebrate Archie’s life. A video of Archie singing Charlie Puth’s One Call Away was played during the service, before the choir performed a cover of the song.
Archie’s mother tearfully spoke to the church before someone shouted “we love you Holly, we’re so proud of you” and the crowd burst into spontaneous applause.
Dance said: “He was just such a beautiful little boy and he just made the most of everything… He lived a very full and happy life.
She continued: “He was the best little boy ever, just perfect. There were a few little challenges along the way, but he was just shaping up into such a perfect little man. I love him so much.”
Singer Lewis Capaldi’s song Someone You Loved was played over the speakers and there was poetry, hymns, Bible readings and a video montage of Archie photos and film.
The family said, in a funeral order, that donations to the Tafida Raqeeb Foundation would be gratefully received. The foundation aims to improve the quality of life of children suffering from a neurological condition and “to be their vocal advocates”.
The young man’s family has been supported by a campaign group called the Christian Legal Centre.
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, concluded he was brain-stem dead and said continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests. His mother prepares to discuss the implications of Archie’s case with a health minister.