Viral TikTok challenge leaves boy brain dead

Joshua Haileyesus

Some sick people had the grand idea to start a challenge on TikTok that dares people to choke themselves until they lose consciousness. It’s called the “Blackout Challenge”, and it has left a 12-year-old Colorado boy brain dead.

Joshua Haileyesus, was found by his twin brother passed out on his bathroom floor on March 22 after using a shoelace to choke himself to participate in the challenge. Now, his family is preparing to say their goodbyes.

“It’s just heartbreaking to see him laying on the bed,” his father Zeryihun Haileyesus told Fox 19 reported. “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.”

On Monday night, several dozen friends, relatives, and neighbors gathered at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora to pray for a miracle.

Joshua’s parents said he used social media a lot. They say it helped him learn and gain connections to new passions such as cooking, guitar, and acting. He was exposed to the positive aspects of social media and technology, but also was exposed to their dangers, they said.