The Game That Could Win Your Life.
November 21st 2011, this day was my little sisters 7th birthday and the day that has forever changed my life. My family had a small birthday party planned for my sister at my grandparents. The basketball games I was at coaching my cheerleaders went into overtime, so I didn’t get done until about 9:15 that night. I hurried to my grandparents to have cake and ice cream with them, but by the time I got there, they were getting ready to leave. I said hi and bye to all my siblings, then headed back to campus.
I no more than got in the parking lot and my mom called me screaming so loud that I couldn’t understand anything she was saying. I then got her to talk slower and she said the most heart breaking words I have ever heard, “Joshua is dead!” I dropped my phone and burst into tears, I couldn’t breathe, and I instantly turned back around and sped home. I got about a half mile out-of-town and got pulled over for speeding. I was a wreck. I told the cop what was going on and he didn’t believe me, so he had to call dispatch to see that I was telling the truth.
By the time I got close to my house I could see a light show from all the cop cars that were surrounding my parent’s home. I couldn’t get into my driveway so I drove through my neighbor’s yard to get to my parents. The look on my dad’s face, made me know this was real. My mom was crying, talking like she was talking to herself, but out loud. She said, “His eyes were lifeless and glazed, his skin was blue, all I wanted to do was hold him but they wouldn’t let me.” I tried talking to her but all she could say was, “They told me to prepare for the worst, but I know he’s already gone.”
The drive to the hospital was the longest drive of my life. Once we got there they wouldn’t let me in his room. So many EMT’s and ME’s were in the room working on him. I just wanted to go in there with him. Once they let me in, I held his hand, kissed his cheek, tried closing his eyes and talking to him. I knew he was gone, but my mind wouldn’t let me accept it.
We were fielding questions, going through all of his things, and trying to find peace of knowing what really happened and started the funeral planning process. I took on the “big sister” role, and helped my parents plan his visitation and funeral. I never thought I would be able to do this, but I did and it was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. There were so many people there; it was completely amazing to see all the love and support we have received from everyone.
Joshua was 13 years old, a 7th grader who was on the A honor roll, loved football, wrestling, drawing, singing, outdoors, 4-H and everything else a little boy loves. He had the biggest heart and a contagious smile that could light up a room. A few days after he died we found out the cause of his death, it was from “the choking game”. This is something that none of our family knew he was doing, but when we were told about it and what it entails, we found that the warning signs were all over. They included things like; headaches, itchy eyes, off sleep patterns, marks on his bunk bed, robe ties in his room, and the fact that he was a 13-year-old adventurous boy.
Since this happened I have been so invested in the “choking game”. I have found that it is more common than people think. It isn’t something that people really admit to or talk about, but it is going on everywhere, probably even in your neighborhood. When someone participates in this, they are cutting the oxygen supply from their brain, for a short-term high, which as a result kills brain cells and can be fatal. This isn’t a game and if people are doing it, I hope that this is a wakeup call to them to stop. The effects of this not only hurts yourself, but also everyone that loves and cares about you.
Written by: KeriGlenn