A HEARTBROKEN mother has paid tribute to her “happy, energetic, cheeky chappy” who died after reportedly taking part in an online ‘choking game.’
Karnel Haughton was found collapsed at his Castle Vale home by his family on Wednesday, June 1.
He was taken to hospital by paramedics but died later that day.
The 12-year-old, who attended Greenwood Academy in Castle Vale, was thought to be taking part in the latest online ‘game’ which sees youngsters film themselves choking before posting the footage on the internet.
Karnel’s mum said the family are totally and utterly devastated and words cannot explain how they feel.
She added: “I have had the pleasure of mothering Karnel for a short 12 years and it is a tragedy that we have lost him so soon.
“We all loved him dearly and will miss his cheeky smile.
“Karnel was a happy, energetic, cheeky chappy, who was the life and soul of the house.
“I would just like to thank those that have supported us through this difficult time and sent their loving messages.
“These past few days have been awful and I know that this pain will continue but it is comforting knowing that there are so many kind-hearted people thinking of us and praying for us. Thank you all.”
Karnel’s death has been referred to the coroner who will determine how he died.
Bee Bailey, a friend of Karnel’s mum, is also urging parents to talk to their children and make them aware of the many consequences of playing the life-threatening game.
Writing on Facebook she said it was time to make it clear exactly what happened and to help raise awareness of the terrifying new choking craze.
Paying tribute Bee said: “Karnel had so much going for him and the devastation that has been left behind is unbelievable.
“Heartbreaking does not even come close to the pain his family are going through because of a silly, silly game.
“Karnel I love you so much, your whole family are heartbroken and we all miss you so much.”
Greenwood Academy headteacher Harry French said the school has provided a remembrance book and would look to establish a feature in school as a lasting reminder of him.
He added: “Karnel was a chatty, witty, mature young man who always had a smile on his face.
“He was patient, guiding, mature and had great ambitions to become a firefighter.
“He was very close to his family and often talked about them within school – our thoughts are with them at this very sad time.”
A donation page for a memorial to Karnel has been set up to raise funds for the funeral and to help pay towards a flight for his Nan to fly over from America to pay her respects.
So far they have raised more than £2,200 in memory of Karnel.
For more or to donate visit www.gofundme.com/27rq5jhg