CALHAN, Colo. (CBS4)– A Calhan family has a strong message for other families in Colorado: They don’t want another child to die the way their daughter did– playing the choking game.
Kids cut off their air supply to get high.
Kimi Garnett, 15, had a big smile, was a straight a student, a standout athlete, and well liked by her classmates in Calhan.
“You never want to understand what it feels like. I hope you never do,” said Kimi’s mother Martha Garnett.
“It’s been definitely the hardest thing in my life,” said Kimi’s stepfather, Henry Suarez.
Her mom and step dad say she died while playing the choking game.
“It’s called the choking game and it’s a game nobody wins,” said Suarez.
Kids self strangulate to get a brief high, but it can lead to accidental death.
Martha says that’s exactly what happened to Kimi. In April, Kimi went to take a shower but her parents became concerned when didn’t come back out.
“I knocked on the door, there was no answer so I used a screwdriver to pop open the bathroom door and that’s when we found her,” explained Martha.
While nothing will bring their daughter back, Martha and Henry say their determined to raise awareness and put a stop to this dangerous game.
“It just tears a family apart, it’s so senseless,” said Martha.
“There’s always going to be a void. We know we’ll have to live with that but what would compound it is if we continue to hear kids are falling victims to this,” said Suarez.
Martha and Henry say their daughter would often wear scarves around her neck to hide the bruising. Looking back, they remember a few times she had blood shot eyes, and would get headaches.
While every parent can look for these signs, they want to remind us a child can die from trying it just once.
Martha and Henry are now working with the parents of Gian-Luc. He was a 12-year-old Colorado Springs boy who died from the choking game. His parents say he was an outstanding athlete and straight a student.
Kimi’s parents and the parents of Gian-Luc will have a booth at the upcoming Calhan Health Fair September 13 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to help raise awareness.