In the wake of an unimaginable tragedy, the devastated parents of 13-year-old Esra Haynes are determined to honor their daughter’s memory by raising awareness and effecting meaningful change. Esra, a Year 8 student at Lilydale High School in Melbourne, lost her life after participating in a dangerous trend known as “chroming” during a friend’s sleepover on March 31, 2023.
Esra’s parents, Paul and Andrea, were caught off guard by the devastating turn of events. The routine gathering with friends seemed ordinary, and they had no reason to suspect any harm. However, a late-night phone call shattered their world. “Come and get your daughter,” the voice on the other end said. Those words plunged them into a nightmarish reality they will never forget.
Paramedics at the scene worked tirelessly to revive Esra, but they informed Andrea that she had been “chroming” – a perilous craze that involves inhaling chemicals from aerosol cans to achieve a quick high. Unfortunately, this high proved fatal for Esra, a beautiful and cheeky girl. She was rushed to the hospital in an unresponsive state and placed on life support, told Kidspot.
After eight agonizing days, doctors delivered the devastating news that Esra’s brain had suffered irreparable damage. With heavy hearts, the family made the painful decision to remove her from life support. Paul, Andrea, and Esra’s older siblings, Imogen, Seth, and Charlie, surrounded her, providing comfort and love until the end.
Esra’s story is a tragic addition to the growing number of Australian teenagers who have lost their lives due to chroming. In response to her death, the Victorian Education Department expedited efforts to educate schoolchildren about the dangers of this practice, and medical professionals have spoken out about its risks. However, Paul and Andrea believe more must be done to prevent other families from experiencing the same heartbreak.
They are calling for aerosol manufacturers to develop safer formulations for deodorant products, as well as advocating for CPR training to be implemented in all schools across Australia, with regular refreshers every two years. Additionally, they stress the need for stricter regulation of social media platforms to prevent young individuals from accessing harmful content easily.
Above all, Paul and Andrea want to ensure that children and their families fully comprehend the consequences of chroming. They emphasize that youngsters often focus solely on the present without fully understanding the potential impact on their lives. Esra, they believe, would never have engaged in this behavior had she known the dire consequences.
Despite their overwhelming grief, the Haynes family finds solace in continuing their daughter’s legacy. Paul affirms the significance of discussing this issue openly, stating, “Her name meant helper, so that’s what we’re here to do.”
The loss of their daughter and sibling has left a void in their lives, impacting not only their family but also Esra’s AFL club, her friends, and the entire community. Their unwavering determination to create awareness and drive meaningful change stands as a testament to Esra’s enduring spirit and the love they will forever hold in their hearts.