A 12-year-old boy died over the weekend after playing the ‘choking game’ with his friends.
Tua Muai’s mother Celestia found her son unconscious Friday afternoon at their home in South Jordan, Utah. She called called 911, and Tua was rushed to the hospital, where he died.
It was later revealed that he passed out while playing the ‘choking game’ – also known as the ‘fainting game’ – with his friends, in which participants are choked or choke themselves to feel a rush.
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Twelve-year-old Tua Muai died on Friday after suffocating while playing the ‘choking game’ with his friends in South Jordan, Utah
‘He was just playing a game and he didn’t think things through,’ his mother told Fox 13.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Celestia, whose husband Felise died unexpectedly two years ago, leaving her a single mom to eight children between the ages of nine and 23.
‘I spent Mother’s Day planning my son’s funeral, writing his obituary, instead of having breakfast or flowers or I love you mom,’ she said. ‘Try to imagine what it would be like and multiply that by infinity and that’s kind of what it’s like.. there’s no words.’
Muai’s (right) mother, Celestia (left), found him unconscious and called for help
A YouCaring page has been set up for the family, to raise money for Tua’s funeral. So far the fund has raised more than $13,000 of its $20,000 goal.
‘He is a light and joy to all who know him. His zeal for adventure and making others laugh will be remembered forever.
‘He loved football and his band of brothers were his dearest comrades, and his coach was like a second father to him. His 7 siblings meant the world to him and were his greatest friends…. He is dearly missed by his grandparents, cousins, and much extended family and friends,’ the page reads.
According to a March article in Time magazine, the choking game appears to date back to the 1930s, though it could be even older than that.
Tua’s death comes nearly two years after his father, Felise, center, died. Felise is seen above surrounded by his wife and eight children. Tua is seen far right
Between 1995 and 2007, 82 children between the ages of six and 19 died after playing the game, most being boys between the ages of 11 and 16, according to a 2008 CDC report.
The federal government stopped monitoring choking game deaths in 2008, so it’s unclear how many children have fallen victim to the game in recent years.
But it appears to be in full force according to Youtube, whuch turns up more than 37 million results of ‘how to play pass out game’.
A group of mothers have banded together to raise awareness of the issue, petitioning websites like YouTube an Facebook to take down videos that show how to play the deadly game.