12-year-old boy dies after trying viral ‘blackout challenge’

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Joshua Haileyesus, the 12-year-old boy hospitalized after participating in the viral “blackout challenge” has died.

“After fighting the good fight on life support for 19 days, Joshua has gone off to be with the Lord,” an update on the family’s GoFundMe said. “Your prayers and your love have comforted us and we are grateful for your support.”

Joshua was found struggling to breathe on the bathroom floor in late March. His twin brother attempted to resuscitate him before first responders arrived at the home.

The “Blackout Challenge” has been around for years, daring participants to choke themselves to the point of passing out in order to gain a sense of euphoria. 

The dangerous challenge is gaining popularity on TikTok. The challenge also goes by the names, “Passout Challenge,” “The Game of Choking,” or “Speed Dreaming.”

Full message from Joshua’s family:

“We would like to update everyone that this evening, after fighting the good fight on life support for 19 days, Joshua has gone off to be with the Lord. To everyone who has prayed relentlessly and shared our burden during this trying time, we thank you. Your prayers and your love have comforted us and we are grateful for your support. We will be sharing funeral arrangements in the coming days for those who are interested in attending.”

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