Heartbreaking New Details About The 12-Year-Old Boy Who Died Playing 'The Fainting Game'

Photo: YouCaring
Tua Muai, Fainting Game, Pass Out Game, Suffocation Roulette

Tua Muai's mom spent Mother's Day planning his funeral.

A 12-year-old boy has died as a result of the fainting game, a popular yet dangerous activity among teens and kids who force themselves to pass out to feel a high or rush. 

Tua Muai, from Salt Lake City, Utah, was found unconscious Friday afternoon. His mother, Celestia Muai, called 911, but it was too late. 

The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

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"I spent Mother’s Day planning my son’s funeral, writing his obituary, instead of having breakfast or flowers or I love you mom,” Celestia told reporters. “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.”

That afternoon he died, Tua had been playing the fainting game with his friends. 

Also known as the pass out game, the choking game, the tingling game, and suffocation roulette, the goal of the fainting game is for children to cut off oxygen to their brain or the brain of someone else. 

Sometimes they use their hands, other times they use a rope or a belt. 

The result is usually a high or a rush caused by killing thousands of brain cells. But sadly, Tua isn't the first child to lose his life while playing. 

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In the United States from 1997 and 2007, 82 children between the ages of 6 and 19 died as a result of playing the game. Most of them were boys, like Tau, between the ages of 11 and 16. 

Though there hasn't been a follow-up study since then, the deaths do not appear to have slowed down. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report revealed that over 1,400 children and teens died from accidental hanging and strangulation between 2000 and 2015. 

“He was just playing a game, and he didn't think things through,” Celestia said of Tua, who was known for his adventurous spirit and beautiful smile. 

Celestia hopes sharing her story can prevent future tragedies.

“I would hate for any other mother to go through what I’m going through and any other children to go through,” Celestia said. “There's nothing that can take the pain away, but if it can save one child, one parent, one family...then it will make more sense."

Anyone wishing to donate to Tua's family and help pay for the funeral and memorial expenses can do so by visiting their YouCaring page. 

Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. EST you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter or her website at www.emily-blackwood.com.