SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — A Utah mother says her 12-year-old son died last week after playing a "fainting game" with friends, according to KSTU.
“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 Muai told KSTU. “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 Muai, 12, was playing with friends Friday afternoon when his mother found him unconscious and called 911. Tua had been playing a game also known as the "choking game" with his friends, where the goal is to cut off oxygen to the brain on themselves or others to get a high or a rush.
“He was just playing a game," Muai said, "and he didn't think things through."
Muai called her family to the hospital.
“To see my sister there grieving at the side of her son on a hospital bed was very, very difficult as my heart tore for her,” said Michael Ballard, Tua's uncle.
“This one hurt, this hurts,” said Bryan Ellison, Tua’s football coach. “It was like ice in my veins. It's something that I never, ever will forget, ever."
Tua's football coach was like a father; teammates were family.
Tua was known for his beautiful smile, now frozen in pictures and memories.
“I would hate for any other mother to go through what I’m going through and any other children to go through,” Muai said.
His mother hopes to prevent other tragedies by sharing her son's story.
“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.
The Muai family lives in South Jordan. They have been overwhelmed with support, something they had just a year and a half ago when Muai lost her husband. She's a single mom of eight kids, now preparing for her son’s funeral this week.