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A 12-year-old boy is in critical condition after he participated in the viral choking challenge.
This latest craze, per PEOPLE, encourages participants to choke themselves until they pass out. According to the publication, Joshua Haileyesus‘ twin brother found him unconscious on the bathroom floor of the family’s Colorado home on March 22.
The boy’s parents believe he was “completely unaware of the risks involved” with the choking challenge.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover medical costs. The campaign, so far, has raised more than $140,000.
“Joshua was discovered breathless on the bathroom floor by his twin brother who tried to resuscitate him until neighbors and the ambulance arrived,” an update shared to the donation page read.
“He is currently being intubated and the doctors have said that his chance for survival is extremely unlikely,” the page continued.
“Our family is devastated beyond belief by Joshua’s circumstance. We are saddened that someone who has a future as promising as Joshua is in such a critical and life-threatening situation at the moment,” they wrote on GoFundMe. “We are also concerned for other families who like ourselves, may not be aware of the existence of the Blackout Challenge and others like it.”
“We are desperate not only to bring Joshua home, but to ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else,” they said. “We urge the community to spend awareness about Joshua and the real risks involved in not having knowledge of what kinds of activities children are involved in.”
During an interview with KCNC, Joshua’s father, Haileyesus Zeryihun, said doctors told him his son is not likely to survive the ordeal.
“I couldn’t take it there, I was on the floor, I was crying,” he told the outlet. “It was just heartbreaking to see him, laying on the bed.”
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