Ally Langdon of Australia couldn’t stop crying as she spoke with a mother and father who had to make the agonizing decision to end their 13-year-old daughter’s life.
Langdon, a mother herself, struggled to cope with her grief after learning that the youngster had died as a result of chroming, a deadly internet practice.
Andrea and Paul Haynes appeared on A Current Affair with host Ally Langdon to address the loss of their 13-year-old daughter, Esra Haynes, who tried the trend of chroming, which involves breathing dangerous chemicals into one’s mouth or nose to become high, and died as a result.
Esra, a young athlete who raced BMX bikes with her brothers and led her team to the national aerobics championship in Queensland, was described as “determined, fun, cheeky, and talented” by her teammates at the Montrose Football Netball Club, which she co-captained.
On March 31, Esra attended a sleepover at a friend’s house and, in search of a high, smelled spray deodorant, causing her to fall into cardiac arrest and suffer lifelong brain damage.
“It was just the regular routine of going to hang out with her mates,” Andrea, her mother, said in the interview. “We always knew where she was and who she was with,” her father, Paul, continued. It was nothing out of the usual…It was one of those calls that no parent ever wants to get at that time of night, and we unhappily received it: ‘Come and grab your kid.'”
Langdon notes that Esra’s friends assumed she was having a panic attack, “but after inhaling deodorant, her body was actually starting to shut down, she was in cardiac arrest, and no one at the sleepover used cardiac arrest.”
As paramedics attempted CPR on Esra, Andrea hurried to her side, and Esra’s mother discovered for the first time that her daughter had been chroming.
They took Esra to the hospital, where they held out hope that she would survive. After all, she had a healthy heart and lungs, so she might be able to make it.
After eight days on life support, Paul and Andrea were told that Esra’s brain damage was “beyond repair” and that they “had to have that decision to turn off the machine.”
Her parents, overtaken with sorrow, described their agony at deciding to end their daughter’s life.
“It was a very, very difficult thing to do to such a young soul,” Esra’s father said of asking loved ones to come say their goodbyes at the hospital. She was placed on a bed so that we could lie with her. We cuddled her right up till the death.”
Langdon, a mother of two small children, felt the parents’ anguish too much to handle and shed a few tears.
After Esra’s death in early April, Paul reports that the family is “broken,” and Esra’s siblings Imogen, Seth, and Charlie are “shattered.”
“It was really devastating, devastating for everyone involved, all her friends as well,” he said. “It’s been the most difficult, traumatic experience any parent could have.” We haven’t slept, we haven’t eaten, we haven’t smiled–we aren’t ourselves…But it has touched the entire community, not just us.”
After losing their daughter to the craze, Paul and his wife have made it their mission to teach people about the risks of chroming, which can be done with everyday things like deodorant, paint, hairspray, and even permanent markers.
In an interview with a local television station, Paul stated he wishes he had known about chroming when Esra was alive so he could have warned her of the dangers: “If we were educated and the word had been put out there, we would have had the discussion around our kitchen table for sure.”
“We need to ramp it up and let these kids find out the information first-hand, and not through friends, and not through social media-then they’re given the right advice off the bat.”
Paul’s purpose is to educate parents so that they can create a better future for their children through education. The children.
“(Parents) should sit down and talk to their children, and they should start the conversation gently.” We certainly had no idea what was going on.”
Since 2009, multiple toddlers have died as a result of the unsettling phenomena of chroming in Australia and worldwide.
Chroming, which can result in seizures, heart attacks, suffocation, sudden death from odor, coma, and organ failure, is enticing to young people because it delivers a quick and temporary high.
“We’ve got the pictures in our mind which will never be erased, you know, of what we were confronted with,” Paul said to Langdon. “Our gut was ripped out.”
Taking a little child off of life support must be a heartbreaking decision for any family.
Mrs. Haynes and Esra’s other family and friends have our heartfelt condolences.
Please SHARE this news with everyone you know in order to assist parents save their children’s lives by educating them on the hazards of this deadly trend!