It seems like every other day there’s a terrifying viral craze on the horizon which is just destine for a bad ending – but now, this old ‘game’ has claimed yet another young life.
The ‘choking game’, as it is known, is thought to have claimed well over a hundred adolescent lives over the past few years and now tragedy has struck again, according to KWQC.
Garrett Pope Jr. was just a normal 11-year-old kid from South Carolina, but his life was cut short when he strangled himself as part of the fatal trend – accidentally killing himself.
The infamous game involves a person either intentionally choking themselves or getting their friends to choke them until their brain is starved of oxygen and they pass out – bringing on a sense of temporary euphoria.
However every few weeks the game results in merely another heartbreaking tragedy.
Back in June, a 12-year-old boy from Birmingham, Karnel Haughton, died while on half-term break from school playing the so called ‘game’.
Karnel is thought to have been playing the ‘game’ in his bedroom when he lost consciousness, before being discovered by his mum Gemma a short while later.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post Garrett’s dad said:
My name is Garrett Pope, and I’m the father of the 11 year old boy, Garrett Jr., who passed away tragically this past Wednesday.
He was our oldest son, a 6th grade student at the middle school, had just started to play football on Tuesday night, wanted to go to Clemson, was funny, smart, and an amazing son to us and brother to his siblings.
We do not know where Garrett learned this [the choking game], but the logical source would be from other kids in school, or in our neighborhood.
Please know that his senseless death was not intentional. He took this terrible “game” too far. My family has never felt pain like this before, and we don’t anyone else to go through what we are going through. Please talk about this with your kids, and do everything you can to prevent a similar tragedy.
Hopefully Garrett’s tragic death will persuade other young kids to stay well away from the choking game. How many young boys and girls have to die until people realise that it’s not a good idea?
A GoFundMe page has been set up in memory of Garrett to raise funds for the local community and area. It has already raised over $20,000.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.