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
Thank you for sharing this painful experience.
Several years ago my son’s eighth grade classmate died in this same unfortunate way. You are doing a great service by spreading the word about this. Thank you.
Yes, thank you for sharing your story Keri. Beautiful website to honour your brothers memory. I lost my son Kelly Jan. 7th, 2006. We are from St. Joseph Island, On Canada. I have been speaking out since Kelly’s death. Trying to educate as many as I can. Kelly’s sister just graduated as a graphic designer and has designed a brochure to help educate. I am also in the process of having a website designed by one of Kelly’s friends. I pray that God covers you and your family with a peace that goes beyond all understanding. That you each will look forward to the day when God will reunite each of you with Joshua and you will spend eternity in heaven together forever. Hugs.
Thanks for your story, KeriGlenn. I was 19 when my 12-year-old brother died from the Choking Game, and I vividly remember all those police cars when I got to the house. The big difference is that Tom died in 1977 — 35 years ago — and it was only about 5 years ago that I even heard of that game. Now I want to do something to get the message out, and I envy the fact that you are starting to do that at a young age. Good for you! I know Joshua is right with you.
I’m not sure what made me read this again today. Josh’s memory has been heavy on my heart. I know his birthday is around the corner. Thank you for sharing your story. It brings me back to my own painful experiences (with losing my Dad and my daughter), but also gives me a window into yours. I still can’t believe this happened. But I want you all to know that you and your family are loved. And what a blessing you have all become in what you’ve done with this tragedy. I know the pain of all of this is still so fresh, so may God hold you all in His arms as you breathe through this.
I sit here crying and aching for you and your family.. I could never imagine loosing any of my kids nor my sibling( which they also are my best friends), I remember hearing about this “chocking game” on tv… I never knew kids would consider this a game, but truth is that there are so many kids doing it and dying! I hope that the word gets spread arounf and parents should know the signs and intervene before its too late. I pray that the lord gives you all peace and comfort in knowing that your brother is now an angel.
I’m the father of six children – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you having put this information up online. It also leaves me to wonder if I would have your strength and resove in having taken on such a project after experiencing such a terrible loss. My best to you and your family.
Your family has constantly been in my thoughts and prayers. I grew up in Bondurant and went to school with your Mom through 8th grade when I moved to Delaware. I continue to pray for peace and comfort for all of you.
I’m so sorry for your loss………thanks for sharing your brothers story ….
Very sorry for the loss of your brother. Your family is in my prayers. I would like to say as I have seen other comments. Getting this out there to the public and countless number of families and homes is a Wonderful thing. It takes amazing streighth to talk about your loss and how it happened. Let’s all hope that by bringing awareness to other families and parents this kind of tragedy can be avoided and hopefully make it a thing of the past. God Bless You!!!
My heart breaks for you and your family but the Lord will be with you in your time of healing. I have grandchildren that are the age of some of these children so i will let there parents know of this stupid game Thank you for letting me know about this .God Bless you
God bless you and everyone who loved him.
Thank you for taking the time to share this very painful part of your life with us. I see my grandson’s face when looking at your son’s pictures. I will make it my business to tell everyone I come in contact with about your awareness plea. May the lord comfort you in your healing process and please know what you are doing will change lives.
My son Timothy was bipolar and made several halfhearted attempts at suicide (including Russian Roulette). We got him all the help we could find, afford and get him to accept. He died 3 years ago at 28 by his own hand, but yet partly by accident. My heart aches for you. He was also a towheaded farm boy.
Played it as a kid…so glad we all survived! Didn’t even know this causes death! I will warn my childen for sure! God, I am so sorry for your loss! 😦 God Bless you!
I am left speechless, Keri. I will pray for you and your family who will need to be lifted up for quite a long time. Thank you for the website and the effort to inform others of this terribly deadly game.
Having been a middle school teacher, I’m aware of this and have had students think it was so funny to do. I’ve had to stop them from performing these antics on each other at school! I’m sure my lectures were taken very lightly, but this very sad story is evidence that it is to be taken very seriously. I will spread the word to my students as well as my grandchildren.
May God bless you and keep you all in His loving way. May friends and family be the physical presence of God sent to comfort each and every one of you.
With much love and prayer,
:(, Your suffering has brought forth beautiful words to warn parents. Thank you for trying to bring light out of darkness! You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers!
As a mother of a 14 year old son my heart aches for you and I selfishly know I don’t want to be in your situation ever but realize I could be because life is so uncertain for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing the message of your loss for others’ safety and warnings. This, and other stupid actions, are so preventable if only we realize we must teach our kids about them. But we can’t talk about the things we don’t know and we can’t know everything that threatens our children. So thanks for sharing to other parents and kids. May the Lord bless you with peace and may you fully know that your son’s life was a gift to you, however short it was here. It will always be the same gift as it was. That has not changed. Our Lord is a loving Father who provides for us and He will continue to care for your son and for you.
Bless you, Keri, for your strength and courage. Prayers to the family and peace be with you, Joshua.
I am truly sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this important information. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for sharing the details of Joshuas passing – I will most definitely share this with my 10 and 11 year old in the hopes that it NEVER happens again because of awareness.
I am do sorry tor your families loss. 20 years ago our 11 year old son died very suddenly right before our eyes of acute viral miocarditus. The loss of a previous loved one is an ache and a grief you bear always. As years go by you learn ‘coping stratigies’ and ‘old grief’ isn’t as raw or shocking, but it is always there. You sound like a very special daughter and sister, and I am adding you and your family yo my prayers.
Thank for your sharing. I am SO sorry for your loss.
My condolance,All the Glory be to Lord Jesus,Bless Yall
[…] Our Story. […]
[…] Our Story […]