A Dangerous Game and a Warning to Parents 

The choking game goes by several names, passout, blackout or flatliner.Anyway you say it, it’s a dangerous act performed by thousands of young people.David Quimby and Sherry Williams first learned about it while investigating the death of their 18 year old son, Alex Quimby.He was found dead while visiting his father in Florida last November. It was initially ruled a suicide but that just didn’t make sense to Alex’s parents. “Alex loved life too much to take himself out of it.”That was the first concern of Sherry Williams and David Quimby. Their son, Alex seemed so happy, and had spent days making plans with friends back in Maine.The 18 year old was discovered in the closet of his room at his dad’s condo in Florida, with a belt wrapped around his neck.”The worst possible thing that can happen to a parent is to lose a child, then to also find that child.”Also, there was no suicide note. So, David and Sherry started researching the choking game.”The clinical idea behind it is that if you temporarily cut off oxygen to your brain, you get a brief rush, kind of a brief high.”Dr. David Prescott of Acadia Hospital says there are estimates that as many as 1 in five young people have tried the practice, sometimes alone, or maybe in a group.Victims have been as young as age nine.It destroys brain cells, and can lead to permanent brain damage or death.As many as a thousand young people in the country die from it each year, and that number might actually be much higher. It’s believed a lot of the deaths are classified as suicides, like in Alex’s case.(take from “you hear about marijuana”)”This is something any child can do it. It doesn’t cost money, they don’t have to find it.”David and Sherry discovered from his friends, that Alex had been taking part in the choking game for a couple of years. That was enough evidence to convince them, that the dangerous practice is to blame for their son’s death.”It’s something I would never wish any parent would go through. Especially to find out it was due to a game, that’s called a game. Alex lost.”David and Sherry are now committed to saving lives by educating parents and young people about this risky behavior, and Dr. Prescott says that awareness is exactly what we need to prevent senseless deaths.”We’ve got to add it to our list of things that parents watch out for and learn how to talk to their kids about.”(take from the worst possible thing)”I’m certain that so many parents that love their children dearly are unaware that it exists that it happens.”David says he’s already heard from several kids in the community who have admitted to playing the game. Now he’s on a mission to prevent more parents from sharing his intense grief.”We feel that Alex’s life through his death, his purpose is changed. We know what it is now and we feel that it’s our place to do his work for him.”Wednesday, January 20th, would have been Alex’s 19th birthday.Here are some signs to look out for:–Markings around the neck–Disoriented behavior or red eyes after your child has been alone–Locked doors–Belts, ropes or neckties found tied up around their room–Wear marks on furniture or closet rod.For more information you can log onto