A devastated mum has released a photo of her 13-year-old daughter taken days before she died after taking part in a dangerous social media trend. Esra Haynes died after inhaling chemicals from a deodorant can in an online trend known as “chroming.”
She took part in the deadly trend while on a sleepover on March 31, 2023.
Her devastated parents, Paul and Andrea Haynes, told A Current Affair it was just the “regular routine” of the Year 8 high school student from Melbourne, Australia as they dropped her off at her friends’ house.
They said: “We always knew where she was and we knew who she was with. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
“To get this phone call at that time of night, it was one of the calls no parent ever wants to have to receive and we unfortunately got that call: ‘Come and get your daughter.'”
Esra had gone into cardiac arrest, and was raced to hospital before being put on life support.
A scan revealed she had suffered irreparable brain damage.
When she died eight days later, her three siblings, Imogen, Seth and Charlie, were left “shattered”.
“Heartbroken” parent Paul said: “She was put onto a bed so we could lay with her. We cuddled her until the end.”
According to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, chroming is the inhalation of toxic household substances – such as paint, deodorant and bug spray – as recreational drugs. It became a trend in Australia in 2009.
These inhalants result in a short-term “high,” slowing down brain activity in the central nervous system, and can be taken a variety of ways, from huffing them in a bag to spraying them directly into one’s mouth or nose.
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Side effects of chroming include slurred speech, dizziness, hallucinations, euphoria, nausea, vomiting and disorientation.
It can also lead to a heart attack, seizures, suffocation, coma, choking or fatal injury and can permanently damage the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. The trend can even lead to sudden death in some cases, after just a single session.
Esra’s parents are now doing everything they can to spread awareness and prevent the potentially fatal activity leading to any more deaths.
Paul told the Herald Sun: “It’s unquestionable that this will be our crusade.”
Esra’s sister, Imogen, told 7News: “We definitely have a mission to raise awareness for kids and anyone that does it.
“We don’t want that to happen to anyone else. We don’t want another family to go through this, it’s absolutely horrible.”
Tributes have poured in for Esra after her death, with friends describing her as the “one girl who could put a smile on anyone’s face no matter what”.
One of her friends Abbey wrote: “There wasn’t one day in the past three years you’ve not made my day by your contagious laugh and gorgeous smile.
“My heart aches and it doesn’t feel real knowing I’ll have to say goodbye to you Esra. You’re so young. You were gone too soon.”