Western Massachusetts Teenager Dies After Trying Viral Challenge
What is wrong with people these days, for God's sake? I'm referring to these monsters on social media who encourage teens and pre-teens to attempt risky or dangerous challenges. Sadly, the latest victim of one of these challenges was an Amherst Regional Middle School student in Western Massachusetts.
WWLP/22 News reports Nate Squires was found unresponsive Monday after attempting the new “Blackout Challenge”. Nate was just 13 years old. His family members are bringing awareness to a viral TikTok challenge they say left the teenager dead.
The social media challenge, seen on TikTok, encourages children to choke themselves until they lose consciousness. The blackout challenge, which is not a new phenomenon and has many names, been documented by the CDC.
A 2008 study on the “choking game” noted that the challenge is to “choke oneself or another in an effort to obtain a brief euphoric state or ‘high.’” According to his family, Nate was found unresponsive in his home on June 12 and died two days later in the hospital.
Nate's family started a GoFundMe page on Tuesday with a goal of $25,000 to help with some of the financial burdens they may face over the coming months while dealing with the tragedy.
The GoFundMe organizer Samantha Thomas, sister-in-law of Nate’s parents Rachel and Dave Squires, posted on the GoFundMe:
Our entire family feels like the rug has been ripped out from under us and while Rachel and Dave have a long road ahead of them, the least we can do is try and take away any financial burdens that [they] may face in the upcoming months as they deal with the aftermath of this nightmare. All over the world families are losing children to this. We ask that if you cannot donate, please reach out to a child in your life and talk to them about the Blackout Challenge.
The family hopes bringing Nate’s story to light will help or change the minds of others attempting the dangerous challenge. Nate's death is not the first this year. In April, a 12-year-old Colorado boy who attempted the challenge spent three weeks on life support before he died.