AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Hundreds of people packed into Colorado Community Church in Aurora for the funeral service of Joshua Haileyesus.
The family says the 12-year-old boy from Aurora died after he participated in the “Blackout Challenge.” That is a challenge that dares people to choke themselves until they pass out.
Haileyesus was found breathless on the bathroom floor on March 22. He was on life support for 19 days and died April 10.
A stream of family photos played at the funeral showing Joshua and his twin brother Caleb, along with their siblings and parents, who are Ethiopian immigrants.
The service was provided in two languages and touched on the dangers of the “Blackout Challenge.”
“He didn’t think of it as a dangerous thing,” Caleb Haileyesus told the crowd at the funeral. “I really miss him.”
The funeral service included videos of Josh playing soccer, acting and talking about his faith.
While the family struggles with their grief, they also hope that their loss will serve as a warning to other families.
They established “Joshua’s Keep Shining Foundation” and a Facebook page, saying the 12-year-old will continue to impact the world for a long time to come.