12-Year-Old American Boy Dies After Trying 'Choking Game' Craze

A 12-year-old American boy has died after playing a dangerous game popular in schools with his friends.

Tua Muai, from Utah, had been taking part in a craze called the 'fainting game' when his brain became starved of oxygen and he lost consciousness. His mum, Celeste Muai, has now spoken about her desire to warn other parents about it so that their children don't try to do the same.

She 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.

"He was just playing a game and he didn't think things through,"

Tua died in hospital after he and his friends tried the game, which has become popular online. It involves cutting off oxygen to the brain in order to get a high or rush. He was described as a sixth grader with a passion for American Football and a "zeal for adventure".

Credit: YouCaring
Credit: YouCaring

His devastated mother spent Mother's Day (last Sunday in the United States) planning her son's funeral as a result.

She told local TV station FOX13 Salt Lake City: "I spent Mother's Day planning my son's funeral, writing his obituary, instead of having breakfast or flowers or 'I love you, Mom,'

"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."

Credit: FOX13 Salt Lake City
Credit: FOX13 Salt Lake City

The dangerous game is usually learned about by kids through word of mouth, and practised by groups of two or three young people at a time. It has also been known to be called things like "cloud nine", "space monkey", and "five minutes in heaven".

Whilst it has been around for a long time, it has also been popularised by videos that have been posted online and shared by children.

A quick search on YouTube turned up countless videos of kids trying the craze for themselves, as well as a concerning amount of "how to" style videos.

The danger of the game is that it can cause cerebral hypoxia - a deprivation of oxygen to the brain - this can be achieved either by strangulation, or hyperventilation (forcing yourself to breathe too much).

The effect can bring on dizziness or euphoria, but can also cause loss of consciousness.

A fundraising page has been set up to help pay for the funeral of Tua Muai. It describes him as "He is a light and joy to all who know him."

Featured Image Credit: FOX13 Salt Lake City

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013