A sickening viral TikTok challenge is what left 12-year-old Archie Battersbee in a coma, according to his mum, as the tragic boy's life support is due to be switched off.
The boy has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions – including ventilation and drug treatments at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.
But now, all legal routes have been exhausted and the schoolboy's life support is due to be switched off at 10am today, August 6.
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The High Court ruled he could not move to a hospice because of the risk included, while the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said it would not intervene because the case "fell outside" its scope.
Archie was found unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 by his mother Hollie Dance.
Hollie thinks he may have been taking part in the Blackout Challenge, a disturbing online trend that sees young people try different destructive methods to cause themselves to become unconscious.
His mum told LBC about the dangerous challenge: "If you have to use Archie as the topic to address it, just please sit down with your children with regards to these online challenges.
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"Once you look into it, they’re so frightening.
"[It’s] heartbreaking, because I think, if I’d known about these challenges I could have had that conversation with him even the day before.
"And I know that I would have been really firm with that conversation, and we wouldn’t be here now."
Eight-year-old Lalani Erika Renee Walton from Texas and nine-year-old Arriani Jaileen Arroyo from Wisconsin also fell victim to the challenge.
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Dr Nick Flynn explained to the Irish Examiner the effects of the blackout challenge.
He said: "What is actually going on in the brain is a lack of oxygen similar to when someone is drowning, choking, or having a cardiac arrest.
"If you have low oxygen to the brain for over three minutes you can get brain damage and if you have low oxygen to the brain for over five minutes it can result in death."
Archie’s family are now said to be “spending precious time with Archie” according to Christian Concern, with all legal routes “exhausted”.
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