Family to donate organs of Indiana teen who died during ‘choking challenge’

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – An Evansville teenager died after playing a viral “choking challenge.”

Mason Bogard, 15, attempted the challenge last week. It’s also known as the “choking game,” “the knockout game” or the “pass out game.”

The challenge is said to give people a momentary high, but it’s highly dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the “game” is responsible for the deaths of 82 children over a 12-year span.

Bogard’s mother wrote about her son’s death on Facebook:

As most of you know, Mason was involved in an incident on Wednesday evening. We’ve learned that Mason attempted a challenge that he saw on social media and it went horribly wrong. The challenge that Mason tried was the choking challenge. The challenge is based on the idea that you choke yourself to the point of almost passing out and then stop. It’s supposed to create a type of high. Unfortunately, it has taken the lives of many young people too early and it will take our precious Mason.

Over the last several days the amazing staff at the Deaconess Hospital has done everything they can to bring Mason back to us. Unfortunately, we will not have the opportunity to experience so many things with our child because of a stupid challenge on social media.

She urged parents to closely monitor their children’s activity on social media.

“Please pay attention to what your children look at on social media,” she wrote. “I know our kids always complain that we’re being too overprotective but it’s OK, it’s our job.”

Bogard’s mother said doctors tried everything they could to save her son’s life. The family decided to donate his organs.

“While we are devastated that we will never experience so many things with Mason again, we are able to find some comfort in the fact that Mason will save the lives of others,” she wrote. “He would have wanted it this way. He was an extremely generous young man.”

Bogard’s mother says her son was walked through the halls of Deaconness Hospital with friends and family in attendance. She called it his “honor walk.”

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