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Wednesday 29 May, 2024
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Leon Brown, 14 found dead fter trying viral TikTok challenge

BY Anas Shah Sep 01, 2022. 02:50 pm

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A teenage boy who was discovered dead in his bedroom was participating in a risky viral TikTok challenge, according to the boy’s distraught mother. On August 25, Leon Brown, 14, was found unresponsive by his mother Lauryn Keating, 30, at their Dunbartonshire, Scotland, home.

She later discovered that he had attempted the shocking challenge trend that is said to have killed 12-year-old Archie Battersbee by inflicting a fatal brain injury. Lauryn, her son’s mother, is so distraught by his passing that she has urgently warned other families about the online game.

One of Leon’s friends told me he had been performing the challenge on Facetime with them after watching it on TikTok, Lauryn said in a statement to the Daily Record. My Leon figured he would be the first to give it a shot. He and his friends most likely believed it to be a fun and a joke.

“One of the kids who he was on Facetime with told me what he had done. She said they thought they would wake up. But Leon didn’t come back around. It went horribly wrong.”

Lauryn said she wanted other parents to be aware of the dangers of the challenge.

“I had heard of this challenge, because of what happened to Archie Battersbee,” she said.

“But you just don’t expect your own child to do it. Please warn them, these online challenges aren’t worth their lives. They aren’t worth ‘likes’ or whatever they are doing it for.”

The safety of our community, according to a TikTok spokeswoman, is our top priority, and any content of that nature “would be removed if detected.”

Speaking of popular little Leon, a student at Cumbernauld’s Our Lady’s High School, Lauryn said: “The happiest, funniest little child ever, he was. He enjoyed making others laugh and was a little bit of the class clown. To Leon, everything was always a joke or a carry-on. He was merely a young, cheeky boy. But he was very important to me.”

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Leon and his friends reportedly saw the challenge on TikTok. Lauryn continued: “I went on TikTok and came up with terms like [the challenge’s name]. It returned an absurdly large number of video results.”

Leon’s tragic passing occurs only a few weeks after Archie Battersbee’s passing on August 6. In April of this year, Archie’s mother Hollie Dance discovered him unresponsive at his Essex home. The small youngster was put on life support after sustaining a “catastrophic” brain injury.

After losing a protracted court battle to keep him receiving the treatment that was keeping him alive, he passed away. Ms. Dance has acknowledged in the media that she thinks Archie took part in the same challenge.

According to TikTok, there are safeguards in place to stop users from sharing videos related to the trend, and searching for “Blackout Challenge” on the app directs users to a safety centre. Additionally, users have the option to report any videos with explicit content.

Additionally, videos of the challenge are removed from TikTok.

Last Monday, a group of Leon’s friends and family members met to release balloons in his honour. Additionally, a Celtic strip that was hung on a railing at their neighbourhood park contained heartfelt notes from his friends.

In order for her adored son to remain “14 forever,” Lauryn now asks the Hoops football supporters to support a round of applause for Leon during the 14th minute of the Old Firm game on Saturday. To help Leon’s family, loved ones have already established a fundraising campaign. To make a donation, go here.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “Our deepest sympathies go out to Leon Brown’s family during this incredibly difficult time. The safety of our community is our priority and we take any claim about a dangerous challenge very seriously. Content of this nature is prohibited on our platform and would be removed if found.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8am on Thursday, 25 August, 2022. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

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