The young boy had been playing what he thought was an innocent game, but it ended up costing him the ultimate price.
12-year-old Tua Muai, from South Jordan, Utah, died after playing the choking game with some of his friends, leaving his mother to spend Mother's day planning his funeral service.
As reported by Fox 13 Salt Lake City, his mother, Celestia Muai, found him unresponsive on Friday, May 11, and called emergency services. Sadly, they were unable to revive him.
Tua and his friends had been playing the game that required them to choke either themselves or one another to the point just before they passed out. The game supposedly gives the player a drug-free high or rush.
“He was just playing a game and he didn't think things through,” Celestia told Fox 13. “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 had called her family to the hospital when Tua was rushed there, and her brother, Michael Ballard, expressed his heart break at seeing his sister grieving the loss of her son.
Tua had been looking forward to a bright football career on the high school team, and his coach, Bryan Ellison, described what a terrible loss he was for the whole team.
“This one hurt, this hurts. It was like ice in my veins it's something that I never ever will forget ever,” Ellison said.
Ellison was more like a father to Tua, who had lost his own father 18 months earlier.
Celestia is now using her harrowing loss to speak out about the game and warn other parents of its dangers.
“I would hate for any other mother to go through what I’m going through. 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,” the heart broken mother said.
Just a year and a half before, Celestia had lost her husband, leaving her to care for their 8 children on her own.