Utah boy dies after playing 'fainting game' with friends, mom says

A Utah boy died over the weekend after he and his friends were playing the “fainting game,” which led to significant oxygen being cut off to his brain, his mother said.

Tua Muai and his friends had been playing the game Friday afternoon in hopes of cutting off oxygen to the brain to obtain a high or rush. His mother found the 12-year-old unconscious shortly after and called 911.

“He was just playing a game and he didn't think things through,” Celestia Muai told FOX13 Salt Lake City.

Tua died at the hospital. Muai said it was a somber Mother’s Day.

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

Tua, who was in sixth grade, was described as a child who loves football and has a “zeal for adventure.” His father had passed away a year and a half ago. He has six siblings.

Also known as the “choking game” the dangerous stunt was generally spread through word of mouth and involved groups of two or three people participating in it. In the last few years, videos have been posted on the internet to show how children can choke themselves enough to get the “rush of euphoria” as they regain consciousness.

Muai said she wants to warn other parents about the dangers of the “fainting game.”

“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,” Muai said.