As the anniversary of her son’s passing approaches, Ms Dance shared her plans for a memorial to honour the memory of her 12-year-old beloved son with a passion for gymnastics.
From a young age, Archie was enthralled by the sport while viewing it on television, and he developed a dream of one day performing at the Olympic Games. Ms Dance now unveiled cherished, never-before-seen photographs of her son in action.
One image captures Archie sitting in front of the TV, engrossed in the gymnastics spectacle. Other photos portray him gracefully hanging from gymnastic rings and proudly holding trophies.
The 47-year-old mother-of-three also disclosed her intentions to set up parallel bars at a nearby park where Archie used to play, reports the Mirror.
Her aim is to encourage other young enthusiasts to pursue gymnastics and be inspired by Archie’s legacy. He aspired to become an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, and Ms Dance believes that providing such equipment will help others follow in his footsteps and keep his passion alive.
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Ms Dance said: “Arch wanted to be a gold medal Olympic gymnast, so having something that will allow others to be inspired and follow in his footsteps is really important.
“We’re planning to have a plaque next to the gym bars so parents can talk to their children about Archie and his dream of making it to the Olympics. He’s inspired so many already. Just last week I got a message from a boy who bought a toy boxer with his pocket money because it had a six-pack and reminded him of Archie.
“He’s also taken up gymnastics and whenever he gets a certificate, he puts it up to the sky and says, ‘Archie, look what I’ve got!’”
Ms Dance found Archie unconscious on April 7 last year with a dressing gown cord around his neck. He suffered brain damage and a High Court judge later ruled that ending life support was in his best interests.
Ms Dance and Archie’s dad Paul battled to reverse the decision but could not get the ruling overturned. Archie died after his life support was switched off on August 6, 2022. A coroner ruled that his death was due to a “prank or experiment” gone wrong.
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Ms Dance said she feels numb to the trauma but said how it’s the small things that keep Archie close.
She said: “I keep his boxing gloves on my bedposts because, although he’s not here physically, his presence is all around me.” Ms Dance also believes Archie could have survived if the family had been allowed to go abroad for treatment.
She added: “A surgeon in America who has dealt with lots of these cases has seen people waking up from being brain dead. They have gone through rehabilitation, they are walking, they are talking and have a quality of life.”
Ms Dance shared her frustration weeks after telling an inquiry that the decision to withdraw Archie’s life support less than a month after the incident was “unduly hasty”.
Giving evidence to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics – which is looking into the decision to withdraw Archie’s life support – Hollie said terminally-ill children are powerless in the face of medical authority. She is seeking to prove that Archie’s rights were violated.
Ms Dance said: “Archie had absolutely everything to live for, but this country did not give him a chance.”
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