Celestia Muai said she confronted any parent's worst nightmare on Friday.
The single mother of eight called 911 after finding her 12-year-old son unconscious at her home in South Jordan, Utah, she told Fox13. Paramedics rushed Tua Muai to a nearby hospital, where he later died.
Michael Ballard, an uncle of Tua, said it was hard to witness the boy's final moments with his mother, Fox 13 reported.
“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,” he said.
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Celestia Muai told KSL-TV that it all stemmed from the "fainting game," which involves choking a person until they get lightheaded or pass out.
That game has dashed her son's dreams of one day making the NFL, she said, and then becoming a scientist after a career in football.
“I’m still in shock," she told the TV station. "Yes, I think we’re all still in shock. His siblings are taking it very hard.”
“I spent Mother's Day planning my son’s funeral, writing his obituary, instead of having breakfast or flowers or I love you mom,” she added to KSL-TV. “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."
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 82 kids in the U.S. aged six to 19 have died while playing the game between 1995 to 2007. Time Magazine reports that it's the latest data available about the dangerous challenge, despite being a decade old.
"The federal government has not studied the issue since then," the magazine wrote, "but there’s no sign the deaths have slowed."
Now Celestia Muai is hoping to warn other parents about the dangerous game.
“He was just playing a game and he didn't think things through,” she said in an interview with Fox13. "I would hate for any other mother to go through what I’m going through."
A YouCaring page was set up to help cover funeral costs for the preteen. It mourned the boy who loved football, friends and, above all else, family.
"He is a light and joy to all who know him. His zeal for adventure and making others laugh will be remembered forever," it read. "He loved football and his band of brothers were his dearest comrades, and his coach was like a second father to him.
"His 7 siblings meant the world to him and were his greatest friends. Above all, his best friend is his dear mother Celestia."
The page also said that Tua Muai was "welcomed into heaven by his dear father, Felise Muai, who passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago."
"We know that was a joyful reunion for sweet Tua. He is dearly missed by his grandparents, cousins, and much extended family and friends."
Bryan Ellison, who coached Tua's football team, said the boy's death is particularly challenging because seven other students in the area have already died this school year.
“This one hurt, this hurts,” he told Fox13. “It was like ice in my veins. It's something that I never ever will forget, ever."
But Celestia Muai said she's determined to make sure Tua's death can make a difference, KSL-TV reported.
“Talk to your kids. Let them know this [game] is dangerous,” she said. “He would have been an amazing man. Yes. He was destined to change the world.
"And I think that he still will. Just in a different way.”