A FAMILY have issued a desperate plea to give their unconscious 12-year-old boy a second chance at life as they await a judge’s ruling on whether his life-support will be turned off.

Archie Battersbee's mother Hollie Dance, 46, of Southend, found her son unconscious at home on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an "online challenge"

Now, with little Archie’s life in the balance, his family are anxiously waiting a High Court ruling on the next steps of his treatment in hospital.

They're fight in court is being supported by religious campaign group, Christian Legal Centre. 

"We are standing with Archie and his family every step of the way," said chief executive Andrea Williams.

"We want to give him every chance of life."

Echo: Hollie Dance outside the High CourtHollie Dance outside the High Court

Specialists treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it "highly likely" that the youngster is dead and say life-support treatment should end.

Bosses at the hospital's governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, on Thursday asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to rule that a test to establish whether Archie – who has not regained consciousness since suffering brain damage – was brain-stem dead would be in the youngster's best interests.

A doctor told the judge that the brain stem was responsible for the functions which kept people alive.

Archie's parents Miss Dance and Paul Battersbee, who are separated, raised concerns about doctors' proposals.

Read more >> 'Archie is trying to communicate with me in coma'

They questioned the reliability of the proposed brain-stem test, argued that it was "potentially dangerous", and asked why Archie, who lives with his mother in Southend, was not receiving treatment to relieve swelling on his brain.

Miss Dance, 46, says last month her son had he squeezed her hand while in his coma, and squeezed his sister’s hand too. 

Doctors have said it was “probably just a reflex”, but it has given the family belief Archie will pull through. 

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, who oversaw a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said she aimed to deliver a ruling today. 

The judge said Archie could be named in media reports of the case.