A 12-year-old boy is brain dead after taking part in the TikTok trend known as the “Blackout Challenge.” Joshua Haileyesus of Colorado was found lying in the bathroom unconscious by his twin brother.

The preteen is in critical condition after participating in the “Blackout Challenge” on March 22, People reports. Haileyesus’ parents believe the preteen took part in the challenge being “completely unaware of the risks involved.”

The TikTok challenge dates back to 2008 and is also known as the “Pass-out Challenge,” “Choking Challenge,” or “Space Monkey.” The challenge dares users to test how long they can hold their breath.

Haileyesus Zeryihun, the preteen’s father, said doctors told him “the bad news that he’s not going to survive, he’s not going to make it.”

Zeryihun 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.”

Haileyesus’ family has started a GoFundMe page to pay for the preteen’s hospital bill. “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,” the family wrote on the donation page.

“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.”

The family also hopes to raise awareness about the deadly TikTok challenge to prevent other families from going through the same ordeal.

“We are desperate not only to bring Joshua home but to ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else,” the family stated. 

“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.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the GoFundMe page has raised more than  $165,000.

tiktok1 This is a representational image. Photo: Pixabay (CC0)