The "Blackout Challenge" trending on TikTok has reportedly left a 12-year-old Colorado boy brain dead, and he may not live much longer.
Joshua Haileyesus’ brother found him passed out on their bathroom floor on March 22, KCNC in Denver reported. Joshua had apparently used a shoelace to attempt the challenge, which has people choking themselves to the point of losing consciousness.
"He’s a fighter. I can see him fighting. I’m praying for him every day," Joshua’s father, Haileyesus Zeryihun, told the TV station.
Even worse, doctors told the family that Joshua will not recover, according to the report.
"Told me the bad news that he’s not going to survive, he’s not going to make it," the father also told KCNC. "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."
Still, Joshua’s family hasn’t given up hope. They gathered with friends and neighbors on Monday night to pray for the boy, The Denver Channel reported.
"I can’t even describe the grief and devastation," family friend Hirut Yitayew told the news outlet. "Nobody could ever imagine this would happen to a 12-year-old."
The family is also warning others about the dangers that social media platforms can hold when "challenges" like this start trending.
"This is something that kids need to be given, to be taught, to be counseled," his father told The Denver Channel. "Because this is 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.