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Colorado child involved in TikTok ‘blackout challenge’ has died, family says

Joshua Haileyesus
Posted at 9:51 AM, Apr 16, 2021

AURORA, Colo. – A child in Colorado who was fighting for his life after taking part in a dangerous social media challenge has died, his family confirmed to KMGH.

“After fighting a good fight on life support for 19 days, Joshua has gone off to be with the Lord,” reads an update posted on the family’s GoFundMe page.

Joshua Haileyesus was home with his brother when he saw the “blackout challenge” trend on TikTok and attempted it himself. Several minutes later, his brother found him unconscious.

The “blackout challenge” is a trend on social media apps, like TikTok, that encourages children to choke themselves until they lose consciousness.

His family said Joshua used social media to help him learn and gain connections to new passions like cooking, guitar and acting, but also warned about the dangerous aspects it can pose as well.

"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,” his father, Haileyesus Zeryihu, said at the time.