By: ISABELLA CLEMONS
A 12 year old Colorado boy, Joshua Haileyesus, is now fighting for his life after partaking in the “Blackout Challenge”, a game seen on multiple outlets such as TikTok in which participants of the game are encouraged to choke themselves until losing consciousness.
Joshua Haileyesus, who was found by his twin brother on the bathroom floor on March 22, unconscious and not breathing, has been hospitalized and since then declared brain dead. Doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado have added that his chances of survival are “extremely unlikely”. His father, Haileyesus Zeryhiun, stated that Joshua had used a shoelace to choke himself.
His parents say that social media has been an outlet to show and teach Haileyesus some of his greatest and newly found passions, such as cooking, guitar, and even acting – however, it has also put him and his family through this awful and devastating incident.
A family member of his goes on to say “Joshua has a love for people that you wouldn’t expect in a child. Since he was very young, he always expressed compassion for others,” … “He would pray for people who were sick, stand up for others who were bullied at school, and practice CPR in case he ever needed to save someone else’s life.” .
Joshua’s family is now hoping that this tragedy might alert other parents for the safety of their children and the precautions that need to be taken. “This is a serious, a serious thing,” Zeryihun said. “It’s not a joke at all. And you can treat it as if somebody is holding a gun. This is how dangerous this is.”