The possibilities of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee recovering from a brain injury at the center of a life support battle are very poor,’ according to a High Court judge.
Archie was discovered unconscious with a ligature around his neck on April 7 at his home in Essex, according to sources.
His family believes he was participating in a risky internet challenge.
He hasn’t recovered consciousness since, and doctors at the Royal London Hospital believe his life support should be turned off, despite his parents’ insistence that their son is still alive.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot was told by an unnamed specialist that the bottom section of Archie’s brain stem was severely injured, and the higher part was also harmed.
Archie should have further scans, including a brain stem test, before the judge makes her final ruling on Wednesday, the judge said on Friday.
Since mid-April, tests have shown no evidence of improvement, but there are indicators of worsening, he added, adding that the boy’s prognosis is’very severe’ and his prospects of recovery are very slim.’
‘I believe Archie’s brain injury is severe enough that a point of recovery is doubtful,’ he told the court.
‘Yes,’ the doctor said when asked by Barts Health NHS Trust’s legal team if sections of the boy’s brain and spinal cord had perished and were rotting.
Archie’s family maintained that his heart was still beating and questioned if the “proper protocol” had been followed and whether their concerns had been heard.
They had earlier expressed fears that the tests would cause greater harm and questioned why he had not been treated for the swelling in his head.
While doctors had stated that Archie was ‘brain-stem dead’ and had suffered ‘irreversible’ brain damage, his mother, Hollie Dance, stated that he needed more time to recuperate.
‘Only a few days ago, he began to open his eyes,’ the 46-year-old stated last month, five weeks after the tragedy. Tears welled up in his eyes when his ventilator tube was changed.