(KUTV) - A deadly game of chance takes the life of a 12-year-old boy in South Jordan and now his mother, his football coach, and police have a message for other kids even thinking about games of risk.
Tua Maui was found unconscious at his home on Friday afternoon. The mother says he was playing the “fainting game” with his friends when she heard screams for help.
The game involves kids chocking themselves until they pass out. Tua never woke up.
“Anger, numbness, this can’t be real. It’s not really happening, just heart wrenching,” said an emotional Celestia Maui to 2News. “I’m hoping to get the message out to parents and children to not do these games that you see on YouTube and these challenges. They don’t show the consequences.”
“There’s no mom no father that should have to bury their kid over a game. A stupid game that didn’t need to happen,” said a tearful Bryan Ellison who is Tua’s football coach.
Tua’s funeral is scheduled to take place on Wednesday. Tragically the family had to bury his father less than two years ago after he suddenly died of a blood clot and then stroke. Leaving Celestia with eight children to raise.
“I am concerned for my children to have so much asked of them to lose a father and a brother,” said Celestia.
Ellison took over in many ways as Tua’s father. Helping him to excel in football, a game he truly loved to play.
“Courage and fearless that was Tua to a tee,” said Ellison. “He gave you every single thing he had all the time and he was afraid of nobody.”
The case is still under investigation but South Jordan Police say there is no evidence of foul play and this looks to be nothing more than a tragic accident.
“We have no reason to not believe what the family is telling us,” said Lt. Matt Pennington with South Jordan P.D. “The ‘Tide Pods’, the ‘fainting game’ any of these that are going around that are really gimmicks on the internet...can be very dangerous.
A fund has been set up to help the family at youcaring.com