A Colorado family is locked in prayer around their 12-year-old son. The family says that the child was trying his luck with a new TikTok challenged dubbed the ‘blackout challenge’. The idea behind this dangerous challenge is for participants to record what happens while they choke themselves unconscious.
Joshua Haileyesu’s family is hoping to make parents aware of the challenge so they can be on the lookout. Something went horribly wrong for the 12-year-old and now doctors say he’s medically braindead.
“He’s a fighter. I can see him fighting. I’m praying for him every day,” Joshua’s father, Haileyesus Zeryihun, said, according to the news outlet. “It’s just heartbreaking to see him laying on the bed.”
“[They] told me the bad news that he’s not going to survive, he’s not going to make it,” the father added. “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.
A family friend told KMGH-TV that he “can’t even describe the grief and the devastation. Nobody could ever imagine this would happen to a 12-year-old.”
Dozens of family and friends reportedly gathered at Children’s Hospital Colorado on Monday night to pray for Joshua, who has been described as a joyful 12-year-old boy who loves soccer and video games, but who also has a passion for the Army and aspirations to become a pastor.
“This is something that kids need to be given to be taught, to be counseled. Because 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.”
Before this horrific incident, Joshua’s father felt comfortable with the pre-teen using the app adding that it gave his son newfound passions in areas like cooking and guitar.
“I want others to see what I’m going through, learn for their children,” he added.
The family says they will continue to pray. Joshua’s father adds that he will continue to beg for more time with his son and prays for a miracle to save his boy.