TUCSON, Ariz. — A very scary situation, a 12-year-old boy now hospitalized after partaking in a TikTok challenge went wrong.
"I woke up to him just screaming and I woke up so fast that I kicked the dog gate out of my door frame, and then I saw him, he was on fire," Tiffany Roper mother of 12-year-old boy said.
Tiffany Roper recalls the horrifying night last week when she discovered her youngest child Corey wearing a polyester shirt that lit on fire.
In her shock, she rushed to her son's aid.
"I ended up grabbing my hose faucet from my sink and just spraying him down with water and flooding my kitchen until 9-1-1 got there," Roper said. "Unfortunately, my daughter heard it as well, so she woke up and got a towel and soaked in cold water and put it over him to try to help with the burns."
Dr. Marc Matthews of Banner Health says the quick instincts of Tiffany and her daughter were critical.
"It was absolutely lifesaving what they did to save his life," Matthews said.
After Corey was rushed to the hospital, Tiffany soon learned her son was partaking in the viral fire challenge on TikTok.
A challenge where kids set rubbing alcohol on fire.
Now a 12-year-old boy has second and third-degree burns across parts of his body.
"We noticed immediately these were so deep that it was deep second-degree and third-degree burns. That's him now," Matthews said.
Now, more surgeries, skin graphs, and Corey's very long healing process have begun.
"If you survive this challenge, if you survive these horrendous burns, this will be a lifelong process," Matthews said. "That means for the rest of his life he will be dealing with the burn scars, the potential for contractors, which means you can't extend your arms, etc. you can't move your hands, your fingers normally. This will be a lifelong process he will be dealing with."
In her sadness, Tiffany shared an important message to all parents.
"If you feel you've taught them every safety measure in the world drill it into them until there physically sick of you," Roper said. "I want these kids when you say fire safety, to roll their eyes and spout off everything they're supposed to do."
The family has set up a GoFundMe to offset hospital bills and other expenses. Link: https://gofund.me/cf331b2b