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Teen dies after playing 'choking game'

10:49 AM, Jun 11, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. - Jeff and Josie Chavis talked to News 2 about their son's death after they found him unresponsive in his bedroom. They say he was playing the choking game.

The Chavis family is grieving but through their heavy hearts they are taking time to warn other parents and teenagers about the deadly consequences of the choking game.

David Chavis was an athletic, caring, happy kid. He was 13 years old and a student at Kernodle Middle School.

His dad, Jeff recalls the day it all happened. Jeff took his three other kids to get haircuts. David stayed behind.

When it was time for dinner, Josie and Jeff called upstairs for their son to come down. After repeated shouts, Jeff went upstairs.

He found David hanging from his bunk bed. He had a cloth belt tied around his neck. His eyes were closed, his face was purple around his eyes and ears. Jeff said David still had a heartbeat.

"I was trying everything I could, I mean. I wanted to slap him in the face, do whatever I could just to make him wake up," said Jeff.

The house turned into panic. David's 11-year-old sister, Caroline called 911. Jeff and Josie told WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford that they tried everything to revive their son.

Josie said, "I would have done anything to save my son, and I couldn't save him that day. I could not save him. I yelled at him. I said, 'David you need to get up. You got to get up. You're my buddy.'"

It was too late.

The medical examiner called it an apparent suicide. But Jeff and Josie Chavis see it differently.

After their son's death, they learned the choking game was popular at Kernodle Middle School and across the country. They believe their son died while trying to reach the high the choking game supposedly offers.

"Parents need to educate themselves and talk to their children about those games that are so dangerous. If I would have known all this, I think David would be here today," said Josie.

Click here to read about the choking game.

This game has become so popular there is an entire non-profit association dedicated to stopping the choking game. It's called, Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play.

The game also has other names: Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Money, Dream Game, Suffocation, Roulette, Passout, Flatliner, California High, Airplaning, American Dream, Funky Chicken, Tingling, Gasp.

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