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How Archie Battersbee's lifelong wish to get baptised came true whilst on life support machine

by Sophie Drew
Archie Battersbee.jpg - Banner image

The mother of Archie Battersbee has shared the heartwarming story of his baptism, after years of asking to be christened.

The 12-year old is currently in an induced coma after he was found unconscious in his Southend home in April.

On Monday, 13th of June, the high court deemed Archie officially “brain stem dead”, giving the hospital the go-ahead to remove his life support machine.

However, his mother is adamant that she won’t give up without a fight. She believes God has chosen Archie for this very moment.

An elite gymnast and MMA fighter, Archie had expressed a strong interest in Christianity, and regularly asked his mother if they could be christened together in the Catholic church near their home.

Following his accident – believed to be the result of a TikTok challenge that sees people choke themselves until they pass out – Archie’s mother and siblings converted to Catholicism.

Despite being unconscious, Archie was able to be baptised by the hospital chaplain on Easter Sunday. His mum, Hollie, and two elder siblings followed suit the next day.

Speaking to Premier Christian News, Hollie said: “What is the positive to come out of this negative, awful situation?

“Archie is an elite gymnast, he's an MMA fighter, he's got a fighting spirit.

"He's an extremely healthy, fit, child.

“I just feel sometimes that maybe Archie was actually chosen to go through this because he is strong.

“He was strong enough to hold out as long as he has while we've gone through this whole court process.

“I've got to witness what goes on with children within this hospital and that it seems to be quite a reoccurring thing.

“I just find it really sad that these children are losing their life.

“I just think maybe Archie is the one that could possibly change that, and going through this situation, he might have just always been chosen to do that.”

In the weeks before Archie was rushed to hospital, Hollie says she saw quotes about God and Christianity everywhere.

She said: “Someone's looking down on me, I'm finding this really comforting.

"I was actually screenshotting and keeping those God quotes and Jesus quotations and there was one about ‘if a battle if it's not your battle, God will take this battle from you until it's ready to be handed back’ and that's one of the ones that I screenshot, and I just find it really comforting.

“Then obviously, this accident has happened with Archie and it's the chaplain came in, and instantly asked ‘Oh, would you like me to pray?’

“I just feel that Archie would love that. “

“We've done that every single day since we've been like been here  - every day for just over eight weeks.”

Alistair Chesser, Chief Medical Officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: "This is a sad and difficult time for Archie's family and our thoughts and sympathies are with them as they come to terms with what has happened.

"In line with the guidance issued by the court, our expert clinicians will provide the best possible care whilst life support is withdrawn. We are also ensuring there is time for the family to decide whether they wish to appeal before any changes to care are made."

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