After participating in the "Blackout Challenge," in which people are challenged to choke themselves before they lose consciousness, a 12-year-old Colorado boy was reportedly left brain dead.
Joshua Haileyesus, who was discovered passed out on his bathroom floor by his twin brother on March 22, has been pronounced brain dead, and doctors have told his family to prepare to say their goodbyes, according to Verdict.
"He's a savage warrior. I see him squabbling. Every day, I pray for him "According to the outlet, Joshua's father, Haileyesus Zeryihun, said.
"Seeing him lying on the bed is so heartbreaking," he said. "I was struggling with them on the floor, asking them to give me some time and not to give up on him. If I just give up on him, I feel like I'm abandoning my kid."
Hirut Yitayew, a family friend, told The Denver Channel that "The pain and destruction are indescribable. Nobody could have predicted that anything like this will happen to a 12-year-old."
Several dozen families, family members, and neighbors gathered at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora on Monday night to pray for a miracle.
Joshua's parents say that their son has often used social media to learn about and engage with new interests such as cooking, guitar, and acting. According to them, he was exposed to both the positive and negative aspects of social media and technology.
"This is something that children must be taught and counselled on. Since this is a really serious situation, "The Denver Channel quoted his father as saying.
"It's not a joke in the least. You may also behave as if someone is pointing a gun at you. This is the gravity of the situation "Added he.
On social media apps like TikTok, the "Blackout Challenge" has been trending.
"Joshua has an unusually deep love for people for a boy. He has always shown concern for others since he was a child "CBS4 spoke with a family representative. "He would pray for sick people, speak up for those who were bullied at school, and practise CPR in case he ever had to save someone else's life," the representative continued.