Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Message from Kevin Tork's Dad, Ken

Message: Hello to all, our family has experienced a horrible tragedy. We lost our son Kevin Monday night March 30th to a craze that has invaded our children's lives 'the choking game'. He was 15. Before I tell you about how he died I would like to tell you a little about how he lived.

He was the perfect son in everyway. He was happy and fun loving and caring, He would be the first to jump in with out being asked and help where needed. He loved his family fiercely. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. He was in several plays in school, he loved music, basketball, writing poetry and stories. He loved making swords and models and he was the most honest young man there has ever been. He truly was perfect in every way. We told each other several times a day that we loved each other and we hugged multiple times a day.

Everyone I have talked to has told me how special he was, and you just felt it when you were in his presence. I am just now finding out how truly amazing this kid was, his classmates got to see a side of him I never did because at home he was our baby boy. Home was where he came to be a kid. When he walked out that door every morning he turned into this strong young man that I can now only know through their stories or his journals. His love for other people just reached out to you with out you even knowing it. One of his classmates told us that 5 minutes after she met him she felt she knew him her whole life.

I want to share with you three of the many stories that demonstrate the strength of his soul. When he was 6 my wife had to go pick up her father at the train station in downtown Seattle. He asked if he could have 75 c to go get a bag of chips from the machine. Well the chips got stuck and did not fall out and my wife told him she didn't have another 75 c to get another bag. A homeless gentleman overheard this and came up and said here you go ma'am and gave her the money for another bag of chips and walked away. Kevin got his chips and he and his mother went and sat down. Kevin looked across the train station and saw the man that gave him the money and he asked if he could go share those chips with that man, so he walked over and they just sat and talked and ate potato chips, and that man came up to my wife and told her with tears in his eyes that was the kindest thing anyone had ever done for him.

Two summers ago my father and his wife came to see me and we were downtown on the waterfront and were having dinner. A very scary looking woman came up to me and asked for money. She was an obvious addict so I told her that I would not give her money but she could have my meal. She looked past me and walked up to my son he had pulled a ten dollar bill from his wallet, money he earned mowing the lawn, he gave her that money, she said thank you and turned and walked away. We all immediately jumped on him and told him never to do that again, it was a kind gesture but that she was just going to go and buy more drugs or she could have a disease or she could have hurt him. All the things a parent might say in that situation. He got very upset and started crying very softly and was quiet the rest of the night. Later after everyone went to bed he came to me and asked to talk. He told me that he understood why we got mad at him but he just felt that he was supposed to give her that money that somewhere down the road it might make a difference in her life. My eyes filled with tears and I grabbed him and held him to my chest and told him to forget everything we said earlier. That sometimes we adults don't see things as clearly as a pure soul and his was the purest soul God cold make.

A few months ago he was walking his sister home from the bus stop when a car drove by and yelled something at him and his sister. The car went up the hill and turned around and came back and as the car approached the passenger pulled out a knife and the car slowed down. Kevin grabbed his sister and pushed her behind him and stood to face these two boys ready to do whatever he had to do to protect his sister. The driver yelled an obscenity and drove away.

I want everyone to know this was the way Kevin lived his life everyday. There was no sacrifice too great. No task too big and for those of you that knew him... you experienced it. He had compassion for everyone he met that never wavered not even a little. We found a statement that Kevin wrote and I think this sums it up very well. "I believe that life is eternal and life is a flame that will never go out. I am a Christian so I believe in God and heaven. I also believe that we go there when our life here is over. I believe that angels are the souls of our loved ones that come to see their families and to watch over them and be close to them and try to help them. This is what I believe.

Two days before he died he and I were talking and he asked me if he had to sacrifice his life to save his mom and sister would I be ok with that. I said ok with it no because he was my boy and I loved him but if it had to happen then I would be able to accept it because he would be saving the life of his mom and sister and that was the way we raised him. To do what was right. He then asked what if it was a total stranger would I be able to handle that. I told him... well son, I would not like it and it would hurt me forever but if he felt he had to do that and that the life he saved may go on to do great things then yes I could live with it because that's what warriors do. He then said that if he has to die he wanted it to be saving others. I teach self defense at a karate school in Auburn Wa. and I understand that sometimes one might have to make that ultimate sacrifice to save another and I like to think I will be brave enough when called upon to do that but how many 15 year old boys in today's day and age would even consider it. This was the man my boy had become.
I am asking anyone who reads this letter to pass it on or if you don't like to forward stuff then to print this email out and show it to people. I have been praying for my son and my family. Our hearts have been destroyed by this and when I was at a point where I could not go on I suddenly felt his love come into my heart and pull the pieces together and I felt him giving me a message. And that message was
'Dad I need to let people know about this'. There are other kids just like me that are being reached online and at school and are thinking of trying this. You have to stop it. I didn't mean to die, I didn't mean to hurt you and mama and Kelly. I'm so sorry but it's up to you now to let people know". And my soul was surrounded with his love.

On the night he died the paramedics said they had his heart beating and he was trying to breath, but I think he was given a choice and knowing Kevin he saw a chance to save other people and if it meant he had to sacrifice himself to do it he would because he was that kind of man and he knows how strong our family is and he knows how strong our friends are and he knows God will get us through this.
For those of you who have lost a child you understand our grief. For those of you who have not please cherish your children and share with them our story and be as graphic and as candid as they can handle so that maybe just maybe we can all stop this. HUNDREDS of kids have died. This "game" is taking our children at an alarming rate and people have got to know! Parents have to be told that this activity is not a fad it is an epidemic that is killing our children.

I am asking, begging on my knees to anyone that reads this letter. Talk to your children. make them aware, love them, hold them, shower them with kisses, because we will never again be able to hold his head on our shoulder or smell the scent of his hair or watch his face light up when he smiles or see the twinkle in his eyes or feel his arms around us, or hear again the last words he spoke to me " I love you too dad"

Help me fight this battle. Pray with all your might, and tell anyone who will listen. Our family will bear this cross that God has asked us to carry but please share our story, our grief, our loss, so that someone you know and love will not have to experience this unspeakable, unbearable, unending pain. And then my son's death will not be in vain.

Ken Tork

89 comments:

  1. Ken -
    My heart goes out to you and your family and our prayers are with you. My wife and I know exactly what you and your family are going through for we are enduring the same hardship. We lost our 14 yr old daughter Breanna Anderson on March 22nd, due to this wretched "game". If you would like to talk, I just want you to know that we are hear for you and your family. God Bless!

    Our daughters story
    http://hollysprings.mync.com/site/hollysprings/news%7CSports%7CLifestyles/story/30988/parents-warn-of-the-dangers-of-the-pass-out-game

    Sue and Jay Anderson
    H) 919-285-3833

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  2. Dear Ken- I am watching you and your wife and daughter on Today right now and my heart is breaking for you all. Please accept my condolences- your boy looks very much like a very nice young man who is a friend of my daughter's.
    Do you have a Facebook page? that may be a good place to get your message out more.
    Again, my heart aches for you and your family, especially young Kelly, who is a lovely girl. You are surrounded by my prayers and I'm sure, the prayers of many many others. God bless you for reaching out and informing others about the danger of this activity in your grief. My heart is truly broken over your loss. You and your family are very brave to care so much for others in your time of loss. May God bless you, your wife and daughter; and I thank you, as a parent of teens, for your courage. You are heroes for reaching out to other children and parents.

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  3. I just saw you on the Today Show. Thank you for your simple eloquence. I wish you well in your mission as you carry out your son's wishes.

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  4. I just saw you on the Today show and God Bless you and your family. Your beautiful stories about your son.. are just that, beautiful. I am almost 37 years old and I remember being around possibly 10 years old or younger and doing this exact thing! We would take the steps that I'm sure many many other kids today are doing and make ourselves pass out. Being almost 20 years ago and we knew how to do it, I'm sure there are so many kids that would now be adults that probably did not survive this game as my friend and I did. I do not know how we learned it but we did. Again, 20 years ago!! Thank you for your passion and dedication to stopping this awful deadly game. You WILL save lives!! You are a true blessing.

    Prayers are with you,
    CB

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  5. Wow, what a remarkable young man. You are so blessed to have raised such a good person with such a love for others and God. I am now pregnant with our first child (a boy) and I can only hope that we raise our son to be the kind of person Kevin was on this earth.

    It amazes me that this "game" is as popular as it is. I only started hearing about it on the news a couple years ago, and I remember the first time I heard about it, I looked at my husband and said, "I used to do that when I was a kid with me friends at sleepovers!" I was in such shock. I couldn't believe that I am now 32 years old and kids are still doing that! We never thought twice about it when I was a kid, but now I see that I could have been a victim! God must have had other plans for my life.

    I am so glad that the dangers of this are being brought into public awareness. If my parents had sat down with me and told me how dangerous it is, I know I would have stopped doing it. But my parents never knew I did it and they never knew that it existed! And if I had not heard about it on the news recently, I would not have given it a second thought and would never talk to my children about it.

    Thank you so much for using Kevin's life and legacy to help other kids and parents. His death was not in vain. So many lives will be saved and families spared the pain of losing their child because of Kevin's story and the strength of his family. God bless you!

    Lisa

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  6. Leo's Mom My son played this game he diedApril 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Dear Family of Kevin

    My Deepest condolence ,I lost my 16 year old son on March 21,2006 his name is Leo like your son Leo was very handsome.I seen you show today and wow you will save so many children and their families for what your doing in Kevin's memory

    My husband & I found our son the images still haunt me so please talk to you daughter she may hide her feeling like I do .

    I did a walk in May of 2008 (STOP THE CHOKING GAME) to bring awareness to this game over one hundred kids walk with me and we raised $1300.00 to give to D.A.R.E. to help educate our kids about this deadly game.

    During my son funeral three friend told me he was playing this game which I never knew excised.

    Two days before Leo died he asked me mom ever hear of space monkey

    ( I had no idea what he was saying) The reason he asked was because I found eyes drops in his pants pocket I though he may be doing drugs .We seen signs like Leo's mode wings,Constance headaches,blood shot eyes,marks on his neck ( which I thought we neck kisses from his girl friend)We had on idea he was doing this game,we never heard of this game

    Our son death was ruled accidental due to choking game .

    Please take one day at a time it been three years and each day my heart breaks but our sons need us to be ok and help to saves lives by standing up and saying Stop the Choking Game

    Thank you for what you are doing Kevin is so proud of you he is smiling from heaven

    God Bless Saint John N.B Canada

    Rose McPhee

    Leo's Mom

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  7. Thank you and your family for that message! I am a mother of a 12 yr old & 14 yr old who had not even heard of this! I will spread the word and cannot thank you enough for using your tradegy to enlighten others like me that may save my kids lives!!! God Bless you ALL!! Also, may I suggest you read the book called The Shack by Wm Paul Young, a compleling true story that may be comforting to you and your family. Thank you again for getting the word out. Your message WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE & SAVE LIVES!

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  8. conserned parent

    Dear family

    It takes great courage to teach, and that you certainly did, and it is a testiment to your good family. My heart goes out to your family, no one deserves to have to deal with that kind of pain. please e-mail me back, cra_sta@msn.com I have some info I would like to share, that will help with how to do exactly what you said you wanted to do on the today show this morning. God blesses us all, and he has given you some truly incredible blessings.
    craig, grand rapids, mi.

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss. This has been a game for kids for longer than most people realize. I'm 57 years old and I did it with my friends when I was in high school. We had no idea how dangerous it was and it scares me now to think of what could have happened. I hope that enough people hear about this, so that others won't have to suffer your pain.

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss, and I think what you are doing is amazing and much needed. I thought, though, that I would pass along some information that might help you in your fight. I am 25, and long before YouTube was even in existence, in the late 90's, this game was being played in public schools. If you're going to fight it, it will have to go deeper than YouTube or the internet. Kids have at least been doing this for 10 years, and probably many more than that.

    Thank you for taking the initiative to educate the kids about this so they will know the dangers and how irresponsible it is.

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  11. I am so very sorry for the loss of your young son. I appreciate your concern that this "game" be stopped and I hope that your crusade against it will save lives. Your plea to stop youtube is admirable, but my kids are not both over 25 and they knew about this "Space Monkey" game in elementary school......way before youtube. The danger of this risky act has got to be told and I applaud your bravery in stepping out even i your grief.

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  12. Dear Ken:

    Kevin is right. His “flame is still glowing bright” and he was present with you, your wife and daughter on the Today show. Your son was a special boy and now he is a special "angel," or member of heaven," but your eternal connection remains as a family. What an extraordinary gift to receive a message in your heart from him, and the faith that allows you to hear it. I will do my part to pass this knowledge on. I will also pray for all of you to remain strong as you endure the all encompassing, very human pain of your grief. Your family has a special purpose and I hope you find comfort that sharing your message is exactly what you need to be doing.

    My love and respect to the incredible Tork family,

    Judy Barker,
    Mom to a special 10 year old boy and special 9 year old girl and Aunt and friend to many other young people.

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  13. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry about the loss of your son. As the story was airing my 11 yr old son was leaving for school. I made him stop to watch the story. My 13 yr old son was already at school but we will talk about this when he gets home. Boys are curious. Not always realizing the danger they can put themselves in. I sorry for your loss but I thank you for caring and sharing your experience. You have helped so many people by letting us, as parents, know what is going on out there. I hope more parents take this message seriously.

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  14. We are so very sorry about your son. We lost our son on MAy 18th 2008,not this way,but in a drowning he was 19 and had saved his 7 year old brother. We just want you to know we understand the loss,the emptiness,the smell of him in his room.We went through it also,different reasons same ending.God Bless your family

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  15. Texas Parent,
    I just watched the segment on the today show about the "choaking game". Two days ago my 12 year old son told me that some kids in his school were playing this game, I briefly told him that what they were doing was dangerious, but after watching your story I sat him down and fully explained to him how dangerious and fatal it could be. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  16. Ken, just saw the Today Show piece.. I am so proud of you four (I feel Kevin was there in spirit). I have been passing on everything I have gotten and talked to every adult and teen I know letting them know the danger. I remember when I went up to Seattle and Kevin was just a toddler. Kathy was pregnant with Kelly at the time. I vividly remember the love and joy that he brought you both. Wish I was close enough to give you guys a big hug. Remember that LA and I are always here for you both.
    Love always,
    Sheri Bartay

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  17. I am so very sorry for your loss. I cried watching the segment on Today, and again reading your blog. What a precious life to be lost, but now he's walking on streets of gold with our Lord and Saviour.

    My husband was watching it with me, and said he has heard our grandsons, 15 and 16, talking about it. Of course, we had no idea what it was.

    I intend to send this to their parents and to everyone in my address book. Thank God you are getting this message out.

    Again, please accept our condolences on the loss of your beautiful son.

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  18. Thank you sir for having the strength and determination to bring awareness to parents, and to make a difference. I could not even begin to imagine losing my son, much less be able to do what you are doing. You are a true role model of what parents should be. I am suprised this "game" is still around. I am 37, and remember when I was about 10 yrs. old, kids were doing this. Thanks again for bringing it to light, helping to save our children!

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  19. Sorry for your loss. It is a horrible thing to lose someone to such a stupid "game". I saw your segment this morning on the Today show, and admire you passion for getting the information out there. I logged onto your blog to inform you that I am 25 years old and remember participating in this same act when I was in junior high, I noticed others about the same age have commented as well that it has been around for a decade or more. And like they said there was no YouTube back then, it was passed on the old fashion way. One of my friends one day said hey I heard about it and lets try it. And honestly, we did it in the locker room at school without even thinking about it.
    Good luck.

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  20. Dear Ken and family,

    I understand exactly how you feel. We lost my brother Kevin 29 years ago when he was just 16. He sat on the floor, tied a bathrobe tie to the top of his bunk bed, and just leaned into the tie. His twin brother found him, and it was not tied tight, just a loose noose.

    Back in those days we knew it was an accident, but of course it was ruled as a suicide.

    As I watched your family this morning, I went back 29 years to that horrible day, when I performed CPR on my own brother. I hope and pray that your mission to get the word out finally becomes reality. It seems since my brother Kevin died this comes and goes in the news every few years.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you,your family,your Kevin and ours.

    Suzanne

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  21. Ken, I have sent your blog out on Twitter, and hopefully everyone that follows me will spread it. I have a 3 yr old son, and just thinking that this could happen to him when he get's older scares the Hell out of me. I will send your blog to everyone I know, and put it out on every social media site that I am on to help spread the dangers of this "Stupid Choking Game". Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

    Sincerly,

    Mark Hagan
    mhagan@talentrevolution.net

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  22. I watched you on TV this morning.
    My heart & prayers go out to you and your family. I have a daughter who is in her mid-20's and when she was 11, I walked into her bedroom and found her & her friend choking each other and they both passed out for a minute. How horrifying that was to watch. When she woke up, I scolded her, as I didn't know of this game. I explained to her what damage this game could cause, including death. She promised she would never do it again and to my knowledge, she hasn't. I can't even imagine what your family is going through. In the pictures they showed on TV, I could see the gleam in his eyes that he was a truly sincere person. There aren't many of those people left, so know that you raised him right.
    I know you both are proud of how you raised him, as you should be.

    I will make sure to talk to my grandchildren about this & ask them to spread the word.

    I am so sorry for your loss, just know he is in Heaven and bringing joy to those around him.

    My prayers are with you all.

    God Bless You.

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  23. Thank you for your courage to share your story. It's a wake up call. I have also spoken to my kids about this "game" (13 yo son and 11 yo daughter). But when you said you also had that conversation, you made me realize that we can't ever let our guard down. I will block You Tube as you suggested.

    God Bless you.

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  24. Hi I just saw your show on the Choking "Game". I am truly sorry for your loss. About a year ago my wide and I found out that our daughters had a myspace page (listening at their door). We made them pull them up, to our surprise it was horrible, sexy pictures, foul language. As a result they're not aloud to be on the computer AT ALL, no digital cameras, no cell phones, ipods, etc. The reason for this is we can't be aroud our kids 24-7 so we've taken the approach, if you did it once you will do it again it's just a matter of time. A little extreme yes, what's the old saying, better safe than sorry. By the way if they want to go over a friends house their parents have to assure us that there will be no computer usage. Parents have to realize that we are all capable of horrible things even our kids so I take the Dr. Phil approach, you slam the door in my face it's coming off, whatever comes through my front door is subject to search in other words be PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE.

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  25. So so sorry for your loss. i can only amagine the pain your going through. It brought tears to my eyes. My heart really goes out to your daughter. sounds like she really looked up to him. God bless you for getting the word out about this careless "game". Im 40yrs old and remember doing this with friends as a teenager. We never knew it was dangerous. It must be pure grace that I survived to become a mother of three myself. We played this "game" alot. I was shocked to see kids are still doing this. my prayers go out to all of you. and god bless you on your mission to make other aware. Lisa IA

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  26. Ken,
    I just watched you on the today show this morning. I appreciate your willingness to discuss this horrible game that our children are being introduced to.

    I know this had to be difficult for you. Your son deffinately sounds like he was a spectacular young man, and that is a compliment to his parents, and his sister as well.

    Because of your unselfishness, and obvious love of your children and family...hundreds, maybe even thousands of young lives could be saved. Thank You!

    I have NEVER heard of this game, surely I haven't been living under a rock, but it has certainly sparked my interest. We have two grown daughters, but have been raising and are currently adopting our 6 year old nephew. I appreciate the eye opening view to what children are doing.

    My condolences, and prayers go out to you and your family...let God help ease your pain.
    Sultra Thompson
    Hereford, TX

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  27. First of all I want to express my deepest sympathy for you and your family because of the recent death of your son Kevin. I also watched you on the Today Show this morning as I do every morning. As I was hearing the story featuring Kevin I walked into the room to watch more closely. This is because it sounded vaguely familiar to me. When I was in middle school, around the age of 12, one of my friends said she had tried this “game” that was really cool, and she asked if I wanted to try it. I said “sure” not really knowing what I was getting into. I followed her instructions, crouching down on the floor, eyes closed and counting to 60, while focusing on breathing heavily in and out. She told me to then stand up in my place still with eyes closed and my arms tucked into my chest. She then came from behind me and hugged me very tightly. The next thing I remember was waking up on her bedroom floor. She said “Well, isn’t that cool?” What had happened is that by the pressure of the hug I had passed out into her arms (which I guess was the goal of this “game”). It felt like I had been asleep and dreamt a weird dream, but in reality I was only out for about 10 seconds. At this age I didn’t even know what a “high” was, but I did know that this had felt cool. Word got out and several people had tried it. But there was a circumstance that happened that made us all stop this. In a group of girls one morning after a sleep over we decided to try it on my friend that had never done it. Everything happened like normal and she came to after a few seconds. But then we all decided we were hungry for breakfast and we went into her kitchen. Next thing we knew we saw her fall head first into the pantry door and land on the floor. She had passed out again without provoking it, and seriously hurt herself. We tried lightly hitting her face to get her to wake up and she finally did a few minutes later. I thought for a few seconds that she might not wake up. This was a horrifying situation and needless to say none of us participated in this again. I am writing to tell you all this because I am now almost 23 years old and this means the so-called “game” has been going on for sometime now and is still a very active thing. I applaud you and your family for getting the word out on this issue and I hope that all parents and teens out there listen with open ears for the sake of their loved ones.

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  28. Im very sorry for your loss

    but i do not think that you just restrict your children so much, as in, blocking youtube. If you go on to youtubes web site and put in "choking game" ALL of the videos are deleted by youtube.

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  29. Dear Ken - God Bless you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Thank you so much for your courage to reach out to so many people and warn them about the dangers of this "game".

    I felt compelled to comment -- I am 45 years old and we used to do this very same thing when I was a young teenager with my friends! We thought this was harmless fun, although I knew somewhere in my mind that it can't be good to pass out. Me and my friends never did things like drinking, drugs or really anything like that. There were no warning signs for my parents because we were good kids. We were not trying to harm ourselves. I will not get into the specifics of how we did this, but I want your readers to know that the way we did this did not involve tying something around our necks - it had to do with someone else putting pressure on your chest (after a couple of other steps) to cause the "pass out." We would just do this out in the yard and had no shame about it. I remember one incident where one girl thought it "didn't work" then she fell on her face in a pile of rocks causing her to have stitches. This kind of woke us up and we stopped.

    We did not know this was dangerous. Kids need to know that this is dangerous and can easily be deadly! Thank you again so much for sheding light on this subject and letting parents and kids alike know about the dangers. I know that you have saved many lives -- not only directly informing people, but also stopping kids from teaching each other how to do this. God Bless you and keep up the wonderful work.

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  30. I just watched the Today Show with you and your family on and I just want to let you know that my prayers are with you at this very sad time in your lives. I have talked to my 6th grade child about this and she says that she has heard about it and would never do such a thing. I really do think that if you let your child know the dangers of this game, and tell them to not be persuaded by others to do this then they will be ok. It is sad that there are so many things out there that can hurt our children. As if the pressure of drugs and drinking weren't enough. Again, my thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

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  31. I am so moved. Your letter is amazing and I am sure it will save countless lives. What a precious boy your son was. My heart aches for you and your family. And God, who is the healer and miracle worker, will take this tragedy and somehow and someway use it for good. (and I say this so respectfully) It has certainly opened my eyes and I will pass this on to all my family and friends. God Bless you in this courageous task you are doing. It is already working. In Sympathy, Sally in Houston

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  32. I just found out yesterday that my 6 year old son is doing this. I am terrified. I have known about this "game" for years, but now that it is happening to my son I am shocked to learn that not a lot of other people are aware of this. Not his 1st grade teacher, our pediatrician, or my own husband who is a 5th grade teacher. I am so thankful for your mission to save other children. There is no better way to honor your sweet son. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I, too, hope to help educate people about this deadly game.
    McKinney, TX

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  33. Thank you so much for bringing this subject to light. My brother and his wife lost their 14 year old son to this choking game on Feb. 24, 2009. I have contacted our school board and ask they talk with our children as well as parents about this terrible game. They plan to incorporate a curriculum on this subject into their health classes. I had heard of this game years ago, but thought the fad had faded away. I was shocked to find that most people in my community had never heard of this. My own 14 year old son, thankfully, had not heard of it. When I told him how he lost his cousin, he was very angry, and wanted to let everyone know how bad this game is. I pray for your family and pray that your son's death and my nephew's death will not go in vain. Please continue to spread the word about this horrible game, and may God richly bless you.

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  34. I am so sorry for the terrible loss of your son. I am 55 years old and I played a version of that game with a group of friends when I was 12-13. It was a miracle that we didn't end up dead or with brain damage. We squatted down hyperventilated for 8-10 times and then stood suddenly and blew on our thumbs as hard as we could. We'd wake up on the floor after getting very dizzy, have ringing in our ears and then the "rush" of blackness.

    I have no idea why that game appealed to us, but we'd take turns and do it over and over again in an afternoon.

    I was not a drug user as a teen and have never been attracted to drug use, but I loved that game. I wish I could remember what we called it. Maybe "Pass out". The other poster is right, it's just not Youtube or the Internet that you have to deal with, we had neither in the 60's.

    I'm sending this blog to my daughter for her 3 daughters.

    I think you're doing a great thing, may God bless your entire family and help you through your loss.

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  35. Dear Ken and family, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. You were so strong to go on the Today Show and show your concern for this sad game these kids are participating in. You are not alone. I plan to talk to my 12 year old daughter and her friends about this, and hopefully they will never be involved in such a game. Thank you.

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  36. I was getting my 10 year old grandson ready for school this morning when I overheard you on the Today Show. When I heard you say that kids as young as age 9 are doing this, I stopped in my tracks, took a good hard look at my grandson, and tears filled my eyes, my heart dropped, and I thought "OH MY GOD". When my kids were growing up I worried about alcohol, pot, and unsafe sex. Now this is out there plastered all over the internet with demonstrations on how to do it.
    I totally agree with you that parents should put parental controls on their computers to stop the kids from watching this sort of thing on You Tube. My grandson just completed his D.A.R.E. Program, but these sort of things should also be taught.GOD BLESS YOU ALL. If this saves even 1 child, it's well worth it.

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  37. My most sincere condolences....I am sorry for your family's loss......

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  38. My heart goes out to the Tork family, for thier loss. I know how devestated i would be, if I lost one of my children. People should know though, that this is not a new thing. I am 55 years old, and remember as a young teen, Hyperventilating and holding my breath until I passed out. A family member who was a nurse informed me of the hazzards when she witnessed us doing this. It takes education just like what this incident is unfortunatle caused. Dont stop.

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  39. Ken -

    I saw the story on "Today" this morning. I can't imagine your grief and loss. Thank you for honoring your son's life and spirit by shining the light on this practice.

    The one difference I do have with your response is the focus on "You Tube" which is too narrow. There are many many other sources of information on the Choking "game" – and all sorts of other hazards on the internet. My advice to parents is total involvement in the use of the Internet, cell phones, and all of the other tools of instant communication and teen culture. Children and teens make bad decisions. The mechanisms that weigh risk and consequences in the brain aren't well developed until one gets a little older. This is why kids get led in to not only this form of deadly behavior, but also revealing their identities, falling victim to all sorts of scams, and becoming the targets of internet predators.

    Don’t just lock out “You Tube”, lock down the internet access on any computer that your kid uses without direct supervision, and keep in constant communication about what they are doing on line.

    My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  40. I will pray for you and your family as you continue on after this loss. The lord is certainly is working through your family and Kevin by giving you the strength and courage to share your story so that hopefully someone else will not suffer. You are following as Christ would.
    Thank you for sharing this as I have a 12yr old daughter and another daughter turning 7 soon and I had no clue this existed. I will certainly warn them both of this so called game.
    I will keep you in my prayers.

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  41. My prayers are with you.

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  42. tiffany poe( walla walla washington)April 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    I have known about this game for about 13 years my brother use to do it when he was a teenager and now my 15 and 18 year old nephews are doing it. I have tried talking to them and they call me stupid and say i dont know what i am talking about. It scares me to death to think about what could happen to them thanks for creating this blog so i have something to back me up .

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  43. How do I block my children from being able to see this on the internet??

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  44. Your family is greiving now due to a senseless thing. These games as they are called are created and thought up by monsters preying on our children and grandchildren. God Bless what you are doing by taking this public and making this known to so many that have no idea.

    As a grandmother of 7 ranging in age from 15 to 3 years I see a lot of things, but this is unbelievable to me.

    I see all too many times parents trying to be friends to their children instead of being parents first. We recently had our 12 year old granddaughter living with us and we had to do some things that I hadn't really thought about doing with my own children. Setting very strict parental controls on the computer, the phone and the tv. She was with us because of her inability to respect her teachers, her siblings and her mom. She was hanging around with the wrong crowd and always in trouble. She was definitely heading in the wrong direction fast. Our message to our daughter when she took our granddaughter back home was be that parent first. This child hasn't developed the trust or maturity to handle privileges without controls and monitors. Parents think that children deserve to have privacy and access to all of these new technologies - THEY DON'T!! You as the parent are the guardian of these precious gifts given to us, it is our responsibility to ensure that our children are protected from the predators out there trying to hurt them, be it via TV, Computer, Cell Phones, Texting, etc. Don't be blind and give in because everyone else is doing it, most children until they are 18 don't have the maturity to handle responsibily these things, set permissions, set blocks, monitor, monitor, monitor. Nothing is sacred territory when you are doing it to protect and look out for the best interest of your children.

    I applaud you for telling parents in your interview to set blocks and parental controls on TV, Computers, etc. Too many don't know how, but they need to learn.

    Concerned Grandparent in Missouri.

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  45. Oh, My God! I just watched some videos of children participating in this obscene game, and to think they actually thought it was funny. That just boggles my mind. I'm so sorry for your loss, Ken. You are a truly brave man to share this with other parents. I pray for you and your family, may God comfort you in your time of need. This is truly a serious thing...and I pray that the message gets out there, that this isn't a funny thing.

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  46. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    My family had such a tragedy as well we lost our 12 year old boy Anthony on December 23 to the choking game and the corner called it suicide and we know in our hearts he did not do this on purpose but thats how they called it I have been sitting here reflecting on how we could let other parents know about the choking game and you found a way. I thank you for that.
    The Woodward family.

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  47. Hello Tork Family,
    I would first like to Thank you for getting the word out. I would also like to give our condolences to your family. It sounds like Kevin was an amazing young man. He truly was a role model for other youth. I am very sad to hear such a young and vibrant life taken away by such a nonsense event. Our hearts go out to you all.
    I would like to take a moment to let you know about a tragic accident that happened to our Scout Troop about 9 months ago. We lost one of our young and energetic youth to a similar incident. This young man was a vital part of our Troop. He was always giving. He would help the younger scouts out with advancement. He helped my son out on numerous occasions. My son was hurt by this loss. He would tell me frequently that he had memories of this young man. My son shows me the part where this young man signed off on certain achievements.
    I have grown close with the family of this young man. I have seen how much hurt they have been going thru. I is so hard to see how much they hurt and how much they miss him. I try to comfort his father but really it may help a tiny bit but will never come close to taking away all the hurt and lonelyness. I try to just be there if they ever need anything. I can't even imagine what they are and will be going thru the rest of there life.
    I would like to commend you for getting the word out to everyone you can. I also have been trying to get out the word. I would like to try to stop this senseless activity they take part in. Keep up the strength and effort. You too are making a difference. Your son will be always remembered along with our young scout. I hope one day that this type of activity will be a thing of the past and we will not have anymore loss of lives. God Bless your family. Take care and keep the family close.

    Seattle Washington

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  48. What a wonderful son you raised, you should be proud of the life he lived. It is tragic that it ended so quickly but the work your family is doing by spreading the message about this game will help him live on. I offer my condolences to your family on your son's death. I offer my hope that your goal of ending deaths by this game are reached.

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  49. Dear family of another angel,
    I understand the pain of losing a child, and I am so very sorry for your loss. Kevin looked very much like my son, Joseph. My son died in August 2002 at the age of 28, and I still grieve for and miss my son every day. Please seek a support group for your daughter. COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS is a good group that might help her and you. They help families who have suffered the death of a child.
    I will pray for you, your family, and Kevin. And ask for anyone who reads these messages to pray for all families who have buried a child. It is not a natural state of affairs to bury your child, it hurts, and though the never ending sadness lessens it doesn't go away. We must educate children about the dangers of this game, about taking their own lives and the ulbearable pain those left behind suffer. God Bless you and your family. Kevin is watching, make him proud.

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  50. I am so very sorry for your loss and want to comend you on bringing this issue to the light.Me and my friends were playing this game 23 years ago when one of them passed out fell on her really hard and then went into convultions.When she awoke she had to be rushed to the hospital and eventually needed total reconstuctive surgery on her knee. Needless to say this was enough to scare us away from playing this game,but I didnt realize thaT KIDS WERE STILL PARTICIPATING IN THIS DEADLY GAME OF CHANCE.

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  51. In 1969 I lost a friend to this game.
    You have my utmost sympathy.

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  52. Thank you Ken for this lesson, my husband and I are raising a young son... I hope he grows to be a strong, loving young man like your Kevin. I hope to teach and keep him safe.
    Our prayers are with you and your family.

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  53. I am so very sorry for your loss. It is always the greatest form of cruelty for a parent to have to outlive their children. Words cannot express how deeply I grieve for you.

    That said, however, I think picking on youtube is counter productive. I remember playing the same game back in the mid 1980s, well before youtube had even been dreamed of. It was not new then. It has probably been a cheap fix for teens looking for a rush or a buzz for a VERY long time. I think the reason we never ran into trouble with "passing out" was that we never wrapped anything around our throats, we did it in pairs with one person blocking the corotid ateries with the heels of our hands to restrict the blood flow...kind of like the buddy system when you're swimming. I would never promote this kind of activity, mind you, but children pass this stuff on and have been doing so for a long LONG time, with or without youtube. Perhaps it is time that more parents start taking active roles in their childrens' lives and activities and spend less time trying to blame other parties for our mistakes.

    My heart and prayers go out to you and yours.

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  54. I am very sorry for you loss. I work with youth around your so age at a juvenile facility and we have a few youth who try choking themselves, we were told that nothing could happen to them except pass out now that I am aware of what is really happening I can bring this to light where I work thanks to your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family and take care.

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  55. I just read your blog, saw your story on The Today Show.I am amazied at your strength, GOD is so GREAT ,he gives us what we need just when we need it.I have a 17 year old,daughter, she is the light of my life,I can not imagine life without her. I WILL tell her about the choking game. How it is NOT a game! I will pray for your family daily! God has chosen your family to help STOP this killer! We don't always understand the way God works ,but we must always follow his lead. God is LEADING you, listen to your heart, he knows best.Kevin is so missed I know,but God needed him more. He had to be special, for look what God chose for him, he is in Heaven now with his "wings".Stay STRONG you have a job to do!I will pass this to everyone I know. GODS SPEED!

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  56. I am deeply sorry for your loss and stand in awe of your bravery. Not every tragedy has what yours will have and that is what you are bringing to it - awareness, and perhaps a life saved. I am 50 and remember doing this 35-40 years ago. Until one of my friends almost did not wake up - we were so scared - I suspect none of us tried it again. I cant imagine what it would be like to lose a child but to do so and to have your bravery is commendable.

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  57. Hello Ken,

    First, I'm so sorry for your loss. While I have lost several members of my immediate family, I have never lost a son, so I can't quite imagine the pain you're going through.

    It's good to hear that you talked to him about it. I'm curious, how exactly did you explain this to him? I know many parents don't give their children the full truth about the consequences about certain actions; they can over- or under-exaggerate. I'm not saying this is the case, but I know children will be told one thing by their parents, and when the find out the truth about said act/drug, their parents lose some credibility in their eyes.

    Blocking YouTube and internet access is not the way to go. They WILL find out about this stuff. Trying to protect them in this manner doesn't really protect them in the end.

    Regardless, my well wishes are with you and your family.

    Stephen

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  58. Our son passed last year. This explanation fits the situation, but was not considered by the authorities. He was a happy, well liked kid, not depressed or angry, yet they only considered suicide.

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  59. Mr. Tork,
    I'm not going to expect that anything I say will fill that emptiness you and your family are feeling now. However, regardless of your message about the event that led to your son's passing, from your story I'm taking away a great example for the type of persons I want my two kids to grow up to be. Your son exemplified an incredible blend of sensitivity and intellect. You should be proud, as I'm sure you are. My best to your family.

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  60. My condolences to your family.

    My nephew died playing the choking game in 1995. He was 12 years old and a great kid, just like your son. It devastated my brother and his wife, as well as the rest of our family. My niece, his sister, at age 24, still has trouble coping with her brother's death. I now have a son who is almost 11 and it scares me to death to think kids are still playing this game.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Thanks for speaking out.

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  61. dear ken .. thank you for the messege

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  62. I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. I have a 15 year old son and 14 year old daughter who are on youtube all the time! I will have a conversation with them about this. I'm surprised that youtube continues to allow this type of video to be posted? Don't they have some kind of control over the content? If not, charges should be brought against them for aiding in your son's death. That might get them to take some action regarding this issue!

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  63. My condolences to you and your friends and family. I am 32 years-old and I remember playing this game at the ages of 11 and 12 at slumber parties. We were good kids.. the first time I played it was at a slumber party at my friend's house who's family were strict Mormons. Not even so much as a hint of caffine in the house, yet we could have killed ourselves right down the hall. It's not new and no child is immune.

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  64. Tresa (the Home Depot girl)April 24, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    Dear Ken,

    I used to work at home depot in Bellevue and in Redmond. We ran into eachother often and I called you Kathy as an inside joke because of the joint checks you used with your wife's name on them. Well... it was funny at the time. :) I hope you remember what I'm talking about and it makes you smile.

    I have to tell you... I rarely watch television and I've honestly only seen the today show twice in my life. I just happened to be home this morning, happened to turn on the TV and it happened to be on the chanel you were on. Well, I don't believe that it all just "happened" to happen.

    My whole life is revolved around kids now. I'm a target youth mentor for foster kids and working on starting teaching flute lessons with junior high kids. I believe that I was supposed to see this and hear your story so that I can make sure that the parents of children I work with and the children are educated about this "game." I have never heard of it before, but now because of Kevin and your strength to come on the TV and talk about it, I will be educating myself about it more so that I can make sure this isn't happening to families in my area.

    I am so proud of you and your beautiful wife and adorable daughter. I know for a fact that this story will save many lives. Never forget that.

    God bless,
    ♥ Tresa Haines

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  65. I saw you and your Family on the Today Show. My thoughts and Prayers are with you as struggle down the road of a life without your son. May you and your wife keep up the journey today and always on spreading awareness of such a terrible deadly game that has taken so many lives. Know that I have and will continue to spread awareness of this game. I too lost a loved on January 31, 2007 the same way. Cayden was a wonderful child with so much going for him. I may not fully understand why so many children still play the game when they know the risks. But as long as God gives me life on earth I will continue to send the message that "THE CHOKING GAME" is not a game it takes lives. Thanks for taking the time to tell your story and what you are doing to STOP the game from being played.
    My heart goes out to you and your entire family. Will keep in touch.

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  66. Ahahahahahahaha natural selection at it's finest. At least it happened before his dumbass sperm could create any dumbass children.

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  67. You can visit the Ken Tork's family blog, For Kevin's Sake at http://www.forkevinssake.wordpress.com to view thier latest posts, other comments and link to online video of their Today Show interview.

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  68. its such a sad story, a kid who was obviously a bit of an escapist having to resort to choking himself when he should have been able to simply smoke a joint and get the munchies. i mean come on, you've got to be pretty desperate to get fucked up if you go around choking yourself for fun in an attempt to have a good time. this is what happens when bible thumping parents try and keep their kids "safe from drugs"
    in retrospect don't you think it would have been a better decision to maybe give him a beer or smoke him on his first joint? i bet he'd still be alive right now if you had.
    as for you, the father, you should quit fretting about weather or not you should have been spying on his internet usage and spend more time wondering why he was so desperate to get fucked up in the fist place. repress kids urges to attain an altered mind state and they'll resort to any means available to do it.
    regardless, shouldn't you be happy he's with your god now? or does thinking rationally about it bring up too many nasty thoughts? like maybe god didn't like him, or maybe god doesn't like you...
    life is so much simpler for us atheists.

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  69. Natural Selection.

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  70. How are you such an idiot? Youtube isn't responsible for your son being aware of this shitty method of getting high. You were the one who told him how to do it because you freaked out. You were so afraid of him getting high and doing something you didn't approve of that you told him what not to do without properly explaining why you didn't want him to do it. You're probably one of those pretentious assholes that believes everything the media feeds down your throat. You sheeple sicken me to the utmost extent. Seriously think, ask yourself, have you been too sheltering? Have you ever let him think for himself? or did you just expect him to blindly follow your orders and requests? Maybe if you let him think for himself a little, instead of holding his hand all the way through his through his short life, he might have realized how stupid it was to try this moronic exercise. You are responsible for your sons death, not Youtube. It was your failure at parenting not Youtube's failure at censorship. On some level you must realize this, you are afraid that your actions cause your son's untimely demise. But you don't like being afraid, do you? so you turn that fear into anger. But you can't be angry at yourself, can you? You turned that anger on the most relevant source you could find, Youtube. I hope you do realize this, and instead of needlessly attacking a semi-harmless website, you spend your time trying to make yourself and those you love less ignorant about the harmful ways of the world.

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  71. My deepest sympathies to the Tork family. I lost my baby girl too (not to the choking game but to SIDS) It took me a long time (at least the 1st 12 years) to "get over it" (yah, like you can really get over something like this) but through God, I am at peace knowing she's with the Father.
    Mr. Tork, I admire your drive to educate others through your tragedy! The Lord is with you as I'm sure you know! Sometimes through loss, we find our true purpose in life. You keep your precious son alive through the message you deliver! God Bless You!!! Know that Kevin & my baby Gail are playing together in paradise!

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  72. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Your son sounds like an amazing young man. Thank you for the courage to bring this horrible reality to the attention of many. I do understand what you are facing and I pray that God gives you peace and surrounds you with His love through your family and friends.
    My Robynn took her life last May, and I didn't know why until now. They ruled her death a suicide, but I don't believe it. There was no note and we always talked about anything that bothered her. At her funeral, a relative told us that they had over heard a couple her friends crying uncontrollably saying "I knew we shouldn't have told how to do it." She was very much like your son, very loving, happy ALL of the time and made a positive imppression on everyone she came in contact with.
    Please let me know what myself and my family can do to continue to help our cause. May God bless you and keep you in perfect peace.

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  73. Kevin was in one of my classes at school and one of the teachers said so many great things about him. He rarely showed too much emotion to me but my teacher said his writings and stories truly portrayed his inner personality of great things. This was truly a sad event for your family and friends and should be stopped. Best wishes.

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  74. We must accept that it is quite normal for kids to want to experiment with ways of getting high.

    I believe if kids had access to marijuana, they would not be trying other such dangerous stuff like the choking game. They wouldn't need to. Marijuana would make kids feel spaced out (high), and that would satisfy them.

    Since nobody has ever died from using marijuana, I would encourage any kid who wants to get high to obtain some and go somewhere safe and smoke it. The biggest danger is getting arrested. We need to change that so that the kids experimenting to get high is totally safe for them. Let them have something safe to use.

    I am a grandma and I am 60 years old.

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  75. My 12 year-old son, Sam, died in December from the choking game. Finding him hanging by a looped belt in his closet was the most horrific moment in my life. My other son and I tried to get him down and resuscitate him, to no avail. He was flown to Children's in Seattle, where they had other recent choking game deaths. The trauma put me into premature labor and my baby was born in Seattle, the night before Sam was taken off life support. I talked to the organ donation team between contractions. We were stuck in Seattle for 3 weeks because baby was in their NICU. We flew back home for one day to attend Sam's funeral. Like your son, he was a good boy and well-liked. There are a million reasons why this shouldn't have happened but I cannot get over the fact that he learned how to do it on YouTube. I have always talked to the kids about drugs, alcohol, bullying, STDs, but had never even heard of this. There is a hole in my heart as I'm sure there is also one in yours. Please accept my condolences and let me know what my famiy can do to aid in your education campaign.

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  76. My heart goes out to you and your family. Our prayers are with you too. I hope your blog will help other parents to be more attentive to their children. We must not take things for granted, be watchful of sign from our children. Shower them with love regardless what situation they are in. Some children just won't share with their parents if they have something real bad happen to them. I give you credit for standing up as a parent to share your grief and loss of your beloved son. Your son is in the good hand of our Lord....

    God bless,
    Jeremiah 29:10-12

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  77. hello to all, I have sat here and read all your comments. Let me start by saying thank you. I am a strong proponent of free speech and I welcome all your thoughts on this matter because it helps me formulate a much more precise picture of the mind sets that I will be facing. I can tell from your words that most of have never lost a child. My goal here is not to cast blame on or ELIMINATE you tube or other sites like you tube, but to raise awareness right now before school lets out of the dangers of the activity that is available online that our kids will be watching while you are away at work. and you are 100% correct you tube is not the problem! lack of education in our schools however is! If it were not for you tube I would not have video available to show these kids as I explain to them the realities of death. As parents we are obligated to monitor what sort of activity comes into our home whether it be tv friends or internet. If you think just talking to your child is enough .believe me you are mistaken. we as parents have a duty to our kids to be their parents not heir friends. I teach self defense and as a self defense instructor I understand the realities of the physical aspects of this activity. I talked to my son about dangerous situations , what to look for if someone is about to attack him how to defend from all sides, how to de -escalate a situation , I never taught him how to defend against a friend doing something like this to him because I would not ever expect his "friends" to try and kill him. We closely guarded our sons activity outside our home, but as he said many times home was where he felt safe I never dreamed that the danger would come from within my home. but somebody showed this to him and that somebody has some culpability as well..as for him being responsible for his own death..YOUR RIGHT!! he was. He made a bad choice. A choice he didn’t have enough life experience yet to understand. I went on line and reviewed hours of video that showed these kids doing exactly what my son did. Showed them laughing and having a grand old time..Talking about how 'UN COOL" parents are that think this is harmless. Peer pressure to fit in can very easily over come any parental influence. I am a realist enough to know that kids will do what kids do. I am not going to save every kid. and I am not trying to "find a way to cast easy blame and shed the responsibility of not watching my son" as someone put it. But to educate parents because most of them have never heard of this , and yes it has been around for decades but the availability of it being shown in a way that makes it appear fun visually has only been around a few years now. And no I will not terminate you tube..please.. but what I will do is make it more difficult and also inform parents of what their kids are looking at. in fact these sites use the same learning tool as our school system .audio , visual , kinesthetic, ..They see it , they hear it , they feel it, just like school. Some of you have stated that we as parents are responsible ..your right we are ..we failed!!! we did not do our job well enough to protect out kid..and we have been tried and convicted of this crime and have been given a life sentence of pain and loss. we deserve it! Please know your words cannot hurt us ..We have just experienced the worst pain life can throw at you. I cannot bring my son back ..I cannot lose him twice but what I can do is try with every ounce of my being to save you from this pain to rescue your kids since you obviously are unwilling to. To bear this cross, so that you do not have to know this feeling even if you dont appreciate it..So pass judgment on my son if you will, you didn’t know him, you have not read the HUNDREDS!!!!!! of stories we have received form his friends and classmates telling us how much he will be missed ,how much he helped them ,, how kind and compassionate he was. He was a gifted writer and he would be the first to defend all of your comments and say you have the right to your opinion.. I agree with that . and as for the first comment that said he lied to us..he never lied ..I just never asked him about this again after the first time and he told us the truth on everything he did even when he KNEW he was going to be punished. so pass judgment if you will I forgive you ..my son forgives you ..god forgives you ..and when you have lost a child and you need to know how you will go on when the hole in your heart consumes your entire soul.. call me.. 425 643 6669 I will hold you and comfort you try and help you heal.

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  78. teresa please call me

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  79. This is scary to me because I know it has been going on for many, many years. I remember doing this with my brothers and neighborhood kids back in 1979-1980 and thinking it was cool. My brothers went through almost an addiction to it and they were only 9 and 10. I don't know how long it went on, but to think we were playing this game even back then, I wonder how many of the suicides even back in those years from choking or hanging were related to this. It makes me sad to hear of all the kids who have died from this. I now have kids myself and will make sure I am involved in awareness of this very serious subject. God bless all the families who have been affected.

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  80. Hi Ken,

    I read about your story on msnbc, and I wanted to try and contribute to your blog.

    After reading many replies, I wasn't able to find anyone that would have the same perspective as I do.

    I am currently 27 yrs old, no kids. Maybe 15 years ago, I went over to one of my friends houses for a sleepover. One of my friends told the rest of us about this "huffing" game he heard of, and said it felt funny and cool to do it. He told us how to, and one by one, everyone took their turns.

    This was before the days of youtube...and really before the internet as we know it. Somehow, kids will find a way.

    I didn't realize how widespread it had gotten, so 15 yrs later, I don't think we can really call this a fad.

    This isn't something bad kids do. Or troubled kids. For me, it was curiosity, a little peer pressure, and a lack of information. Had I known how dangerous it was, I probably wouldn't have participated.

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  81. Hi Ken,

    I just wanted to let you know that we got news today that our son was doing this in a park with another kid -- thankfully it was reported to the guidance counselor who then called us. However, we didn't know how dangerous or common this was until I googled choking & teenagers and found your site. We are immediately treating this as the emergency it is, thanks to the effort you put forth in explaining what happened to your son. We had no idea how common this game is and certainly never thought that this is something we'd ever need to worry about him trying alone. Thank-you so much for sharing this information, you are making a difference.

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  82. Dear Ken,
    My brother died in 1978 at the age of 21. This deadly game has been going on for a long time. I wish I could tell every young boy or girl that I know, not to try this. My brother was actually experimenting with "auto eroticism", which gave his death even more of a stigma. It was very difficult to talk about at the time, and is still difficult to explain to people when they ask how my only brother died. I am SO GRATEFUL for people like you that are going out there are telling people about this horrible game. My parents lost their only son as a result of the choking game.

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  83. i went to school with Kevin since middle school and even though i didn't really know him very well his death hit me hard and i cannot imagine the pain that you and your family are going though. im so sorry that you had to feel the pain of losing a family member. i'll never forget kevin. he was an amazing kid.

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  84. how was he saving others by sacrificing himself?

    that part didn't make any sense...

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  85. Mr. Tork. I was in several plays with your son. We hung out between rehearsals and such, and I remember sharing many joyous moments with him. I think it's a pity I graduated a year before him and went to PCFC, and then went to IHS. We never had much contact over those two years, but the good times I had with Kevin will remain with me forever.
    -Gandalf, Teribulous, Menelaus, Snoopy.

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  86. Dear Ken, My step-son came home and showed his father a pass out game. He had him stand with his back to the wall. Feet against wall. He told his father to breath out and he pushed on his chest as hard as he could.... His father ended up on the floor, passed out. I only heard of this after the fact but my step-son said that everyone is doing this. He's 15 and no matter how I explained it, he thought it was funny. We live in a small town Weston WV. If you are ever in the area the kids could use the information you provide. Good luck and God bless
    Shirley

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  87. The Tork Family
    My daughter was showing me a "really funny" video of my son. All I could see was my son against a wall with hands on his chest then he falls to the ground almost hitting his head on the concrete. I thought "what the hell!". All the while my daughter laughing. I stared and even looked at the video again. I asked my daughter what are they doing? She replied it's a game they play. They make him pass out. I looked for the third time and at that moment I didn't know if I wanted to cry or throw up. I became so scare and called my son over and asked him what kinda game it was. He said it's just a game and proceeded to explain. I told him don't do that you could've gotten hurt. Something could've happened to you. What if your friends couldn't have waken you up? What then? Then my daughter tells me you should see Diego's he looks funny. I became so angry at her. I told her there's nothing funny about that. Don't do that anymore.

    Low and behold the next morning I'm listing to the Today show while getting ready for work and they were going to interview you and your family. I froze... My eyes teared up and I had to rush to the bathroom where I got sick to my stomach. My kids had just left to school and I couldn't communicate the seriousness of the "Choking Game". I spoke with them that evening.

    I called and spoke with the VP of the High School where my son attends school and I'm hoping he follows through and creates awarness for the students.

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  88. Dear Tork Family,

    I don't know if you all remember me but my name is analise garmendia. i lived in you apartment building by eastgate elementry and went to st. louise parish, where i met kevin, kelly, and their mom making palm crosses in the back of the church.
    Today i had an interview at skate king and i saw Kevin's poster in the display case. I am so sorry to hear what happened. I came home and decided to look up kevin and see if i could find information on contacting you.

    Kevin and i were close when we were friends and i am so sorry that i ever lost contact with him, and your family. Even for the short time that i knew him it was clear to see he was a special person. he was that kid that makes you laugh while your sobbing. Kevin was always someone that was easy to talk to, a great listener. There was something about his presence that anyone could see, he had this sort of glow about him that would brighten other people's spirits just by being in the same room. it doesn't surprise me one bit that kevin would have wanted his death to teach others, he was a person who believed strongly in helping others and who was extreemely well at it also.

    There is so much i could say about kevin and the wonderful spirit that he embodied every moment of every day. i wanted to thank you and your family for the time that i got to share with him and tell you how much i miss the time we wont get to share.

    Hearing about kevin's story brought to mind this poem:

    God looked around His garden
    and saw an empty space.
    He then looked down upon the earth
    and saw your tired face.

    He saw the road was getting rough
    Your worries He could see
    So He closed your tired eyelids
    and said "Come follow me".

    He put His arms around you
    and lifted you to rest.
    God's garden must be beautiful
    He always takes the best.

    It broke our hearts to lose you
    but you didn't go alone
    For part of us went with you
    The day God called you home.

    kevin was simply amazing, and thats all there is to it.

    He will forever be missed.
    with love,
    analise

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  89. we just lost our son playing this game he was 12yrs old i had never heard of this game but we are making sure that everyone hears about this i am sad but i am more upset that alot of parents are not educated about this dangours game please fell free to contact me at smith83704@yahoo.com

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