Archie Battersbee Accident: His Fight for Life vs. Death and the tragic fate he faced

Archie Battersbee Accident-he was a young 12 years old British boy, who was leading a normal life until he is faced with a life-altering event. Archie Batterbee was born on 10 March 2010 in Southend, Essex – England, a jovial and bubbly boy who had a brother Tom and a sister, Lauren. Their neighbors describe them as a very happy and solid family.

They were all happy until a nightmare turned into reality in their lives. Archie Battersbee was found to be another victim of a life-threatening social media challenge – “Blackout challenge” just like many others.

Archie Batterbee

What is a blackout challenge and how does it lead to death?

Social media, in a way, is a blessing and boon for society. The younger generation does not seem to have a differentiating capacity between good and bad things.  Every day we hear about unlikely events happening around us, which are affected by the ill use of social media. And social media challenges are one of those.

Blackout challenge” is one such TikTok challenge, which is also called a “choking challenge” or “fainting challenge”. In this, participants must choke themselves until they pass out or hold their breath till death.

This challenge encourages people to tie strings/belts or any other similar items around their necks and choke to death. As they do this, the brain starts to struggle and eventually stops working due to the lack of oxygen within 3-4 minutes. According to the CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), more than 80 deaths are already recorded due to this challenge.

Some of the other challenges like the Blackout challenge are,

  • Benadryl challenge
  • Skull break challenge
  • Fire challenge
  • Salt challenge

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Archie Battersbee and family – A victim of blackout challenge

On 7th April 2022, Archie Batterbee’s mother, Hollie Dance found him in an unconscious state with a strangling mark on his neck. She suspected him to be taking part in this dangerous online TikTok game called “Blackout challenge”.  She then performed CPR( Cardiopulmonary resuscitation), an emergency medical procedure performed to a person in a case of cardiac arrest/respiration issues.

He was then transferred to the Royal London Hospital for further treatments; there he survived cardiac arrest along with brain injury. Post this Archie Battersbee was put on life support as he was in Coma.

Important timelines following the Archie Battersbee Accident

April 20227th April – Archie Battersbee was found in an unconscious state at home.  
26th April – In order to perform a Brainstem test on Battersbee, NHS started court proceedings.
            May 202213th May – Court instructed to carry out brainstem test.  
16th May – Archie Battersbee was subjected to a PNS test, where he didn’t respond.  
25th May – Again a court hearing was held, to decide about an MRI scan for Archie Battersbee, as his parents didn’t give consent to move him around.  
31st May – Post court’s approval, MRI was made and declared that Archie Battersbee’s brain stems are dead.
June 20226th June – High court held a hearing to decide whether to continue Battersbee’s life support or not.  
13th to 20th June – Basis the MRI and other tests, the court decided to remove life support as he is already dead as per reports. But Battersbee’s family put an appeal to reconsider the case.  
 July 202215th July – Mr. Justice Hayden ruled out that Battersbee’s life support should be withdrawn, as it was pointless.  
28th July – Following the judgment, Battersbee’s father Mr. Paul was hospitalized (suspecting a stroke or cardiac arrest).  
29th July – The family made an appeal to UNCRDP, where they requested allow some time for them to investigate the case.
August 20221st August – The UNCRDP’s request was dismissed and the Court ordered that life support withdrawal should not get postponed beyond 2nd August 12:00 BST.  
2nd August – An urgent appeal was made to the Supreme court, which was rejected on the same day.  
3rd August – An application was submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with help of the Christian Legal Centre, but ECHR turned down the application.  
5th August – The family’s appeal to move Battersbee to Hospice Care was rejected, as it could, even more, deteriorate his present status.  
6th August – The hospital removed Battersbee’s life support, and was declared dead.
  • The young boy, Archie Battersbee lost his life to the social media challenges, without thinking of the consequences of it. Post his death, his family demanded a complete and detailed investigation of their son’s treatment by the NHS(National Health Service).
  • Archie Battersbee fought for 4 months between life and death on life support. He was in a coma for 4 months, while his parents were fighting a legal battle, to keep their son alive as long as possible. But nothing seemed to be working for them, as young was already reported dead as per the medical reports.
  • It was the most sensational news, trending on every social media this month. The whole world prayed for the young boy’s life but left every prayer unheard on 6th August when Archie Battersbee took his last breath on 6th August.

Why do teenagers take part in such challenges?

As per a survey conducted by Oregon Public Health Division, teenagers who are at risk for mental health issues are more likely to participate in such challenges. This information was reported in a Health article. Also, the youth’s attention-seeking behavior also tempts them to take part in such challenges.

Understanding both sides, it is difficult to say who was right. But most of us are missing the main issue here, which is these “online challenges.” How many lives have been wrecked by these internet challenges, yet nothing is being done to STOP them? Who are the players of these games? How dare they tamper with the lives of innocent children!

Yet it is difficult to claim and prove that it all happened by dirty and dark “online challenges”. All we have in our hands is “self-care and self-consciousness” on what to do and what not to. Encourage your children to engage in more physical, family-oriented activities than being busy on social media and screens.

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