A 12-year-old boy from Colorado is fighting for his life after trying a TikTok challenge where participants choke themselves to see how long they can hold their breath.
Joshua Haileyesus of Aurora was hospitalized at Children’s Hospital Colorado. On Monday, community members gathered to pray for the boy.
According to CBS Denver, on March 22, Joshua’s twin brother found him unconscious and not breathing.
The TikTok challenge that Joshua participated in is the “Blackout Challenge” where participants are encouraged to choke themselves until they pass out.
CNN reported that doctors said Joshua is brain dead and his remaining time is short.
“He’s a fighter, I can see him fighting, I am praying for him every day,” said Joshua’s father Haileyesus Zeryihun, according to the publication
This is not the first time this has happened. The dangerous challenge has been around for years and is responsible for the deaths of dozens of children. There are reported 82 deaths from years 1995 to 2007.
In 2016, a 14-year-old teen from South Carolina also participated in the “choking game” and also died.
Another report in 2010 states that a 12-year-old from Santa Monica, California was found by his mother “slumped over in the doorway with his Boy Scouts rope, which he had used to practice knots, tied around his neck,”
Authorities reports that the trend is done with “ropes, scarves, and belts” or other items tied to doorknobs or bedroom furniture.
They also encourage health care providers, parents, and educators to recognize the signs of the “choking game,” which involve discussing the activity, marks on the neck, or bloodshot eyes.