Thousands of pounds raised for family of boy, 11, who died doing TikTok craze while at friend's house for sleepover

Tommie-lee Gracie Billington died while at a sleepover at a friend's houseTommie-lee Gracie Billington died while at a sleepover at a friend's house
Tommie-lee Gracie Billington died while at a sleepover at a friend's house | Family of Tommie-lee Gracie Billington
The fundraising drive to raise money for the funeral of Tommie-lee Gracie Billington, who died on March 2 after being found unresponsive at a friend's house following a suspected cardiac arrest, has passed the £3,000 target.

Eleven-year-old Tommie-lee, who was from Clayton-le-Woods, died ‘instantly’ after participating in a dangerous TikTok trend gone horribly wrong last month. After being found unresponsive at a friend’s house on Greenset Close, Lancaster, Tommie-lee was rushed to hospital. Sadly, paramedics were unable to save him. Lancashire Police said his death is currently 'unexplained' and an investigation is ongoing, but his grandmother, Tina Burns, said Tommie-lee died after taking part in a dangerous TikTok craze which went tragically wrong.

"The boys had tried the TikTok craze 'chroming',” said Tina. "Tommie-lee went into cardiac arrest immediately and died right there and then. The hospital did everything to try and bring him back but nothing worked. He was gone. He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated.”

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Tommie-lee lived with his mum Sherri in Lancaster whilst dad Graham's side of the family live in Clayton-le-Woods and the South Ribble area. Tina said both families want to raise awareness of the dangers of TikTok for youngsters and they are calling on the social media giant to do more to safeguard children. "Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing. We don't want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media,” she said. “In fact, we want to get TikTok taken down and no children to be allowed on any social media under 16 years of age.”

The organisers of the fundraising page have confirmed that, after paying for Tommie-lee’s funeral expenses, any additional funds donated will be donated to the Co-Operative Funeral Directors for a headstone or memorial and to St Joseph’s Primary School, where Tommie-lee was a pupil. The current total raised stands at £4,828.

What is chroming?

Chroming, which is also known as huffing or sniffing, is when someone inhales toxic chemicals. These include paint, solvent, aerosol cans, glue, cleaning products, or petrol. These inhalants affect the central nervous system and slow down brain activity, resulting in a short-term “high". The practice is extremely dangerous and can also result in slurred speech, dizziness, and hallucinations. Nausea, vomiting, and disorientation are also common side effects. But the results can be fatal. Inhaling these solvents can result in a heart attack or suffocation. Chroming or huffing can also permanently damage the brain, liver, and kidneys.

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