Gransnet forums

Chat

Archie Battersbee

(452 Posts)
Georgesgran Mon 01-Aug-22 21:32:28

Not really a discussion but what a tragic situation all round. His parents must be broken having tried all avenues to keep him on life support. The medical opinion is that he’s brain cell dead and continuing his life support isn’t in his best interests.
It’s just heartbreaking.

aggie Mon 01-Aug-22 21:37:30

I feel sad for his parents , but it’s his time to go . I wouldn’t wish to prolong his not quite alive and not at peace existence

MerylStreep Mon 01-Aug-22 21:46:12

Terribly terribly sad.
My granddaughter shared several classes with Archie.

Grandma70s Mon 01-Aug-22 21:49:22

I can understand the parents’ desperate desire to keep him alive - that’s surely a basic instinct for parents. I’m not sure I’d be able to admit it was time for my child to die. I feel I would always think there was a possibility, however distant, that he would recover eventually.

It’s a nightmare situation..

Callistemon21 Mon 01-Aug-22 21:49:36

Such a tragic case and how terrible for the parents to lose their beautiful boy in such circumstances.

I hope this may lead to stricter rulings and laws for internet controls and that those who prey on children will be tracked, charged and stopped from persuading children to try such terrible things.

nadateturbe Mon 01-Aug-22 21:59:58

I feel the same as Grandma70s. I couldn't give up. It's just heartbreaking.
We do need much more control of Internet.

M0nica Mon 01-Aug-22 22:00:47

Sometimes you have no choice but accept what has happened. Archie is already brain stem dead, which, tragically, means there is no way back. He has passed the point of no return, nothing can be gained by keeping an essentially lifeless body functioning.

I have some understanding of what his parents are going through. Just over 30 years ago, my sister received severe head injuries when she was knocked off her bike. She was single and in her mid 40s. My parents were in their late 70s.

After 2 operations the surgeons held out very low chances of survival and said that if she did survive, the best we could hope for was that she would be in or close to a vegetative state. My mother said that at that point, she did something she could never ever have imagined doing - and that was that sheprayed for her daughter's death, because the thought of her daughter being in that state, neither alive nor dead, for possibly years on end, was more than she could bear.

My sister died the following day. Her death was defined by the lack of activity in her brain stem, the same as Archie. We waited two days for death to be confirmed and were then able to donate her kidneys and liver, which we later heard gave new life to two young men and a teenage girl.

As Archie has been in his current state, on a life support system for so long, organ donation, is probably not now possible.

My deepest sympathies are with his parents, but denying the undeniable, can only make their loss more unbearable.

twiglet77 Mon 01-Aug-22 22:03:25

It’s dreadfully sad but his parents aren’t prolonging his life, they’re prolonging his death. He’s been effectively dead since April and they’re doing him no favours by taking up precious resources that might help someone with a reasonable hope of recovery. I feel for the nurses too, who will have become very involved.

Shelflife Tue 02-Aug-22 01:08:23

A truly devastating situation for Archie's parents, can't begin to imagine the horror of it. In that position I don't know how I would react . Twiglet77 you make a very thought provoking statement when you say they are not prolonging his life they are prolonging his death. That is an interesting way of thinking about it and throws a different light on the situation - after thinking about it I am inclined to agree with you.

M0nica Tue 02-Aug-22 06:36:06

nadeturbe and Grandma70s. Sadly, there is no hope for Archie, he is already brain dead.

I am sorry to be so brutal, but as twiglet77 says. It is death that is being prolonged not his life.

The same with those with very severe brain damage. The doctor's will tell you the extent of the brain damage. They will have operated and seen it. Again it is not a question of never giving up hope. There is no hope.

This is entirely different from someone falling into a deep coma from which they are not expected to recover, but might. For those with extensive brain damage, it would be like hoping someone who had had a leg amputated could grow a new leg.

Sadly, the problem in these cases is helping the parents understand the difference between a coma, that just might be recovered from, and extensive physical brain damage that cannot be recovered from.

Urmstongran Tue 02-Aug-22 06:45:27

Perhaps if the doctors had explained poor Archie’s situation more robustly, as MOnica has just done (thank you and 💐for your loss) then his parents might have been less compelled to go down the legal route.

Whatever. It’s beyond tragic what they are having to bear. A silly experiment gone wrong. How they must howl at the sheer futility of it all.

I shall look at the clock at noon today and think of them. It’s so very sad isn’t it?

Shelflife Tue 02-Aug-22 08:42:21

I too will be ' with them' at 12.00.

M0nica Tue 02-Aug-22 10:34:17

Urmstongran I am sure the doctors have explained this child's situation to his parents in every way possible.

I can understand their grief but doctors and parents, wives, husbands are facing and making these decisions everyday and in most cases the families understand and accept that the member of their family on life support, cannot make any recovery and and agree to turning the support system off.

Sadly, some people just cannot believe it or accept it, no matter what anyone says. Usually parents of young children. There is only a handful of such cases like this one each year. Each is harrowing, but denying your child is dead, when all the evidence shows he is, makes everything worse for everybody.

Serendipity22 Tue 02-Aug-22 10:38:43

M0nica

Sometimes you have no choice but accept what has happened. Archie is already brain stem dead, which, tragically, means there is no way back. He has passed the point of no return, nothing can be gained by keeping an essentially lifeless body functioning.

I have some understanding of what his parents are going through. Just over 30 years ago, my sister received severe head injuries when she was knocked off her bike. She was single and in her mid 40s. My parents were in their late 70s.

After 2 operations the surgeons held out very low chances of survival and said that if she did survive, the best we could hope for was that she would be in or close to a vegetative state. My mother said that at that point, she did something she could never ever have imagined doing - and that was that sheprayed for her daughter's death, because the thought of her daughter being in that state, neither alive nor dead, for possibly years on end, was more than she could bear.

My sister died the following day. Her death was defined by the lack of activity in her brain stem, the same as Archie. We waited two days for death to be confirmed and were then able to donate her kidneys and liver, which we later heard gave new life to two young men and a teenage girl.

As Archie has been in his current state, on a life support system for so long, organ donation, is probably not now possible.

My deepest sympathies are with his parents, but denying the undeniable, can only make their loss more unbearable.

Xxx

Smileless2012 Tue 02-Aug-22 10:40:14

It's a tragic situation and if it happens today, I wonder how much more difficult it will be for his parents to grieve if they still believe given time, he could have made some kind of recovery.

sf101 Tue 02-Aug-22 11:42:24

I agree with Monica and Twiglet. They would have been given explanations all along as to his condition, they are just not ready to hear it.
And now when his life support is turned off they can carry on blaming the medical profession.
Just listening to the mother you can tell that she is reading false hope into his naturally deteriorating condition.

Galaxy Tue 02-Aug-22 11:46:24

It's perfectly understandable that she is doing that though. We cant possibly put ourselves in that position unless we have experienced it.

HousePlantQueen Tue 02-Aug-22 11:54:40

A truly awful situation for his family, all the more so, in my opinion, because they are being encouraged in their "fight" against the medical profession by an extreme Christian group who are, I understand funding the eye watering legal costs. Wicked people manipulating a grieving family. So so sad.

Chestnut Tue 02-Aug-22 11:59:20

I would want to switch off the life support if my child were in that awful situation. I just couldn't bear the thought they might be suffering and we don't know. No-one can tell where their mind is or how they're feeling.

There was a baby who was apparently unable to communicate in any way, couldn't cry or anything, who was in a really bad way. There was a likelihood the baby was suffering pain but couldn't communicate this. The parents wanted to keep the baby alive which I couldn't bear. The baby could be going through hell and they wouldn't know. I could not stand the thought of the baby suffering and unable to communicate this, so I don't understand parents wanting to keep them alive in such a situation.

LadyGaGa Tue 02-Aug-22 12:11:27

I work in a Children’s Hospice, and I find all of your comments well thought out and very compassionate. All too often I hear people taking sides, but I can assure you that everyone included in incidents like these are 100% behind the child, and parents need their compassion to help them make an impossible choice. I have seen how skilled and trained palliative care doctors can help parents when they need it most, and I salute their brave choice not to take the easy route and accept the parents wishes. On a personal note my sister had a fatal brain haemorrhage at 30 and her life support was removed due to brain stem death. One thing a nurse said will remain with me - she said to me that my sister was the same old Sue (name changed) but she wasn’t. She was gone. And even my mum could see this. My heart goes out to all x

MissAdventure Tue 02-Aug-22 12:33:11

Up until a week or so ago, (I think) the view was that Archie was "probably" brain dead, and this has had a huge bearing on his parents' stance.
It would have been the first case decided on the results of an mri, on the basis of probability.
Given that his heart is still beating, and given the above, I would be doing the same, which is pleading for more time.

Prentice Tue 02-Aug-22 12:37:52

Monica how very tragic for you and your family.I have read all your comments and think that you are right in this matter.
The young boy cannot come back from his brain injuries now and a peaceful end in my view too, is the better situation.
It is so very sad.

Oldbat1 Tue 02-Aug-22 13:05:29

As sad as it is I wouldn’t wish my child to continue. I can’t imagine what the parents are going through but I’m sure the medics will have been sympathetic and explained and supported them. I feel his death is just being extended. Sad sad times.

Daddima Tue 02-Aug-22 14:11:27

I agree with others that the parents probably have had the situation explained, but are not ready to hear it. The newspapers don’t help by calling him ‘coma boy’ etc, as he is not in a coma, he is brain stem dead, which is completely different, and I wonder if the family have maybe been getting messages of support from people quoting instances found on Google of people coming out of comas.
I was sad to see the mother on television yesterday saying that she had ‘video evidence’ of Archie trying to breathe, and have also heard her being interviewed and saying that his body definitely reacts when he hears her voice. A horrific situation to be in.

M0nica Tue 02-Aug-22 15:15:08

I may be wrong, but I think a body on life support does change. Muscles may contract, veins collapse and these may cause slight movements on the surface of the body that can be construed as signs of life. But they aren't. They are signs of death processes.