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Colorado boy, 12, is left brain dead after he lost consciousness in TikTok ‘Blackout Challenge’

Colorado boy, 12, is left brain dead after using a shoelace to choke himself until he lost consciousness in TikTok ‘Blackout Challenge’

  • Joshua Haileyesus was found in the bathroom by his 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
  • 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
  • His father has said doctors have told him his son is ‘not going to survive’

 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’.

Joshua Haileyesus 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. 

Joshua Haileyesus, pictured, has been left braindead after his parents say he used a shoelace to choke himself until he lost consciousness for TikTok’s ‘Blackout Challenge’

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.’ 

His family, pictured, believe he may have been using the shoelace to take part in the 'blackout challenge' which has been circulating on TikTok over the last year

His family, pictured, believe he may have been using the shoelace to take part in the ‘blackout challenge’ which has been circulating on TikTok over the last year

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'

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’

Warning other parents Zeryihun added: ‘I’m paying the price right now. I’m living the life, and I hate for other parents to go through this.

‘This is something that kids need to be given to be taught, to be counseled. Because this is a serious a serious thing.

‘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.’ 

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.’  

How to report the Blackout Challenge on TikTok

If you see anybody promoting the Blackout Challenge on TikTok or any other social media platforms, please report the content immediately.

To report the Blackout Challenge on TikTok:

Click on the white arrow on the right-hand side of the video.

Press the icon that says ‘report’ with a flag symbol.

Select ‘suicide, self-harm and dangerous acts’.

If anybody contacts you telling you to take part in the challenge, please do not reply and report the account immediately. 

Call the toll-free 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) 

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

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

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