Dalton Eby
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Pass out game speech - 2006 by Zack Eby  
Imagine this. You come home from swimming one day with a friend. You walk into your home and your mom says she has dinner ready. She asks you to go get everyone for dinner. You notice that everyone is already there except your little brother Dalton, who went to play at a friend’s house. So you and your mom go to his friend’s house and discover that no one’s home. No biggie, you think to yourself, they’re probably riding bikes around your small neighborhood. So, you both drive around. Dalton is nowhere you look.

You’re starting to panic, but just a little, because your little brother always checks in and always says where he is going. You and your mom decide to check the houses of other friends in the area. Every house is checked and all the friends are there but no Dalton. You and your mom are definitely running on full panic-mode now. You decide to go home and wait because Dalton never comes home after dark. But dark comes and still no little brother. By now, everyone in the neighborhood is called and everyone is out looking. An hour goes by and your mom breaks into hysterical tears and calls search and rescue. They come. They search and search and it extends through the restless night. It’s now six o clock in the morning, and they bring in the dogs and the man from the search and rescue asks you to get in the truck with him to go look around friends houses in the daylight. Then over the radio you hear,

“We’ve found the boy.”

Excitement mixed with anxiousness and worry rushes over you. All you can do is hope and pray for the best. The next words you hear over the radio will haunt you for the rest of your life:

“He’s dead.”

It hits you in the face like a ton of bricks. Everything in your body screams and you don’t know what to do. Then the next thing hits you. You know you have to go back and tell your family what’s happened to your little brother. The search and rescue guy goes in the house and breaks the news to your family. Then there’s the sound of heart breaking. It’s a sound you won’t ever be able to describe to anyone. “Hell on Earth” has new meaning for your family from this moment on.

Search and rescue explains that your little brother Dalton was found leaned into a rope that was tied to a tree about ½ mile from your house. 

During the course of the investigation that followed, it was learned that your brother was participating in a game that is common knowledge to many of our youth. A game known as the “pass-out game.”

The little brother scenario that I just explained to you is not a made-up story. It is not a story that I found in some obscure magazine in my library. It happened to me this summer. It was MY little brother Dalton who paid the ultimate price for this “game.”
The sad thing is every bit of it could have easily been avoided.

So what is the pass-out game? Why do many of our youth know and/or participate in this game? Is it really that deadly? Why do so few adults know about this game and its dangers? What can we do to stop this deadly game? Throughout the next few minutes, you will find the answers to these questions. So what exactly is the pass-out game, and why do so many youth participate in it? The pass out game is not new, but it has been in the media a lot lately. It’s called “the pass-out game,” the “dream game,” “Space Monkey,” “Black-out,” or simply “the Game.” The idea is to literally make yourself pass out during this “game.” The method is simple. Just do anything that cuts off your air-supply. Youth do it by hanging themselves, sitting in chairs that are positioned in such a way that allows air supply cut off-other youth can literally choke you until you pass out. There are a variety of ways that youth can play. I’ve participated in this game myself. It started out as just a harmless game. We knew it wasn’t good for us, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would lead to this. There were various ways of getting passed out. Sometimes we would jump on someone’s back and put the sleeper hold on him. In a matter of seconds they black out and hit the floor. We would also hyperventilate and wake up a few seconds later.

What causes the brain to shut down is the shutting off of the carotid arteries on each side of the neck. The only way your brain receives oxygen is through these blood vessels. Obviously without oxygen your brain just shuts down. As you’re gaining consciousness a weird felling starts to come over you. You get a tingling sensation all over your body.

Why do so many youth participate in this game? According to “Deadly Games Children Play Awareness Association,” youth do it for a couple of reasons: One-to assert themselves as the “cool kid” that can do anything on a dare, two-because youth report that it is “funny” to watch someone pass out, three-to get a euphoric feeling or high, and four-because simply DO NOT KNOW THE DANGERS INVOLVED.”

At no point in my life of doing this game did I think of it as getting a high. Of course it felt really cool but the only reason we did it was to see other people get passed out. It was really funny to us to see somebody completely black and they make funny faces and mumble really dumb things.

Why do so many youth participate in pass out games if they are so deadly? Tami Randohl, a Junior High School Mental Health Counselor in Lawrence Kansas says that “kids aren’t aware of the dangers of this deadly game. In addition, kids also think they are invincible, and nothing bad could ever happen to them.” I never imagined that someone could die doing this. Never in a million years.

Unfortunately my little brother discovered a way to do it with a rope tied to a tree. He and some friends would lean into the rope and it cut off air supply.

On the day that he died, evidently he decided to go over to the tree house and was supposed to meet a friend there. His friend was late showing up, so he decided to do “the game” once before his friend arrived. His friend ended up not being able to meet him that day, but Dalton didn’t know that at the time. He leaned into the rope and he passed out. There was nobody there to pull him out of it. He stayed leaned into it and the oxygen never reached his brain again. This was the last “game” Dalton would ever play.

My little Dalton wasn’t the only one to die from the passing out. Others are going through the same things my family and I are experiencing because of this stupid ridiculous game.

For instance, just three months before Dalton’s death, a little girl in Nampa Idaho was found in her room in a closet with a belt around her neck. Her name was Chelsea Dunn. She was thirteen years old. She decided to do it by herself in her room not knowing that she wouldn’t wake up without the belt released.

The investigations discovered that the pass-out game was pretty popular with a group of girls at her school. In fact there were seven girls suspended because they were caught on camera doing it to each other.

Ashley Tucker played this game at a slumber party. Her friend used her hands to make Ashley pass out. Ashley didn’t wake up. She went into a coma and spent months in rehabilitations and had seizures for two years. And now , five years later, Ashley has permanent brain damage.

None of these children knew about the dangers. 

But why, if this is such a common youth pastime, do so few adults know about this game and its danger.

Deadly game takes Last Chance boy’s life, Sheriff says  
    Dalton Eby, 10,  died Thursday, July 7 when he was playing a popular “game” among some area youth, Fremont County Sheriff Ralph Davis said Monday. The boy’s parents are Dave and Dede Eby, owner’s of Angler’s Lodge on the Henry’s Fork.
   Speaking at the County Commission’s regular meeting at the courthouse in St. Anthony, Davis said  Dalton was one of an untold number of young people “ages 7 to 17” who are playing the “choking game” in Fremont County and all over the country.
   Davis told Commissioners Don Trupp, John Hess, and Bill Forbush that kids use their hands, ropes, or cloth ties to put pressure on their carotid arteries until they pass out, having cut off the blood supply to their brains. They do it for the “high or tingling sensation” they experience when the pressure is removed and they begin to regain consciousness, he said.
   Davis ruled Eby’s death an accident, and although Davis said it appears that the boy was alone on property near his  home, the incident is still being investigated. He said most likely Dalton passed out, was unable to release the rope he’d used to choke himself, and no other kids were around to help him.
   Some commissioners and other county officials at the meeting noted that people in their generation and their children's’ generations have played versions of this game, and one person recalled that it had led to a fatality in Island Park many years ago. 
   Dalton was found around 7 a. m. Friday hanging from a tree with a rope around his neck that Davis said the kids who are involved in this activity had made to use in the so-called “game.”
   His mother had reported him missing Thursday when he did not return home at a scheduled time. A Fremont County Search and Rescue report states that he had last been seen riding his bicycle at 5:30 p. m. in front of Angler’s Lodge. Search and Rescue members, as well as many local residents and summer home owners, searched for Dalton on foot, and with ATV’s, bicycles, and private vehicles. The search extended to campgrounds, subdivisions, side roads, river banks, and boat landings. Six search dogs — four from Montana and two from Wyoming — were called to assist.  
   Fremont County Deputy officer Thad Garner spotted a blue-and-white rope suspended from the upper limbs of a pine tree near the boy's home.
   A Sheriff’s Department news release states, "Dalton was found with the rope looped around his neck. There was no sign of a struggle, nor was there any physical evidence to indicate anyone else had been at the scene."
   Davis said he is encouraging area media to let the community know that children are playing this deadly game.
   A report by Emily Halevy of the Connecting WIth Kids (CWK)  Network quotes 20-year-old Sarah Johnson, who witnessed kids choking themselves. Johnson said, “It’s something that’s not talked about, it’s not well known, and there’s a lure to that. They  call it ‘fainting each other.’”
   Kids use bags, belts, ties, or even their own bare hands, causing hypoxia, a shortage of oxygen. The report says that some kids play the game for many hours at a time, passing out over and over again.
   “Basically, it’s a very dangerous play where the person deprives his brain of oxygen,” explains Dr. Ashraf Attalla, child psychiatrist, in the CWK Network report. “By reducing the blood pressure, the brain basically starts an irreversible process of dying.”
   The result can be permanent brain damage or even death.
   Dr. Attalla said parents need to watch for clues, including any unusual marks around the neck. “Parents might find some ties, or ropes tied in unusual  ways, complaints of headaches, blood shot eyes,” he noted.
   He said some kids may be fascinated by this strange and dangerous play they can so easily hide from their parents.
   Experts encourage parents to take away the mystery. Teach your kids that this is no game. “It’s a very, very dangerous practice,” says the doctor, “and I think the community and parents need to know about this.”
   CWK Network writer Larry Eldridge’s research found that the choking game is just one instance of bad decision-making by individuals in an age group notorious  for making bad decisions. 
   Still, a recent study of 2,500 teenagers by the Minneapolis Star Tribune found that students overall feel they make good decisions. Parents should talk to their children about what constitutes a good decision as well as discuss bad decisions, like playing the choking game, that are self destructive and potentially deadly, experts say.
   The Tribune asked its readers if they ever  made an important decision that changed their lives. Here  are some of the findings — all good topics when parents discuss good decision making with their children:
• Life or death decisions. Students wrote about the decision to wear a seatbelt, take the keys from a drunk driver and ride in one car versus another. They wrote about their own reckless behavior, such as surviving a game  of "chicken" with speeding sleds or snowmobiling over thin ice.
Sports. Many students said the decision to participate in basketball or hockey, softball or track had a huge impact on who  their friends were, and on their thoughts about their abilities, hopes and dreams. 
The Arts – Similarly, the decision to play a musical instrument, go to camp, or take dance or figure-skating lessons often changed  students' lives. One student wrote the decision to cave in to his teasing friends cost him the enjoyment and enrichment of joining his high school choir.
Families. Students wrote about making decisions that affect family life. Most common were heart-wrenching essays  about having to decide which parent to live with after a divorce, or about deciding to break off relations with an absent or unreliable parent. Students also wrote about deciding to treat their families better, to cherish their siblings, or spend one more day with a dying grandparent.
Friends. Some  students were grateful for their friend choices, while others wrote about  the difficult decision to break ties with friends they felt were leading them down the wrong path.
Difficult Choices. From a surprisingly early age, students  wrote about facing pressure to drink, smoke, use drugs or to have sex, from their peers and also from their elders. One girl wrote  that her baby sitter asked her to join him in doing drugs. Many wrote about having a dreaded confrontation where someone asks them, "Do you want to … " and having to summon the courage to say, "No thanks." Others wrote about saying yes, and the impact it had on their lives as they struggle to quit smoking or stay clean and sober.

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