A 12-year-old boy has been left brain dead after his parents say he used a shoelace to choke himself until he lost consciousness for TikTok‘s ‘Blackout Challenge’.
A 12-year-old boy from Colorado is in critical condition after reportedly trying the “Blackout Challenge” seen on TikTok that dares people to choke themselves until they lose consciousness.
Joshua Haileyesus, like many 12-year-old boys, loves soccer and video games, but he stood out, even with a twin brother, thanks to his passion for the Army. He also was showing signs early on he might make a great church pastor.
Joshua was found passed out in the bathroom of his Colorado home by his twin brother on March 22.
His family believe he may have been using the shoelace to take part in the challenge which has been circulating on TikTok over the last year.
Also known as ‘the fainting game’, ‘the game of choking’ or ‘speed dreaming’, the trend challenges users to choke themselves until they pass out for a few seconds.
In January a 10-year-old Italian girl accidentally killed herself after she took part.
Joshua is said to have spoken with his brother about holding his breath for a minute.
His father, Haileyesus Zeryihun, told Fox19 doctors have told him his son is ‘not going to survive’.
He said: ‘I was begging them on the floor, pleading to see if they can give me some time, not to give up on him.
‘If I just give up on him, I feel like I’m just walking away from my son.’
He said of his son: ‘He’s a fighter. I can see him fighting. I’m praying for him every day. It’s just heartbreaking to see him laying on the bed.’