Parents of Red Wing man who died playing choking game speak out

A Red Wing couple is on a mission to warn others about a dangerous and deadly high.

RED WING, Minn. -- On the Kafka's dining room table in Red Wing lies the story of "what might have been" - for it's the story of 20-year-old and his life that ended too soon.

"It was the worst nightmare of my life," Vincent's mother, Lynda Kafka said, looking at her son's photos.

Vincent Kafka had everything going for him the early weeks of 2013. College was coming with a promising future in engineering, a beautiful girlfriend and parents who adored him. Everything was great until Vincent made a mistake by playing a deadly game.

"I think that he was a young male that was living life on the edge and he didn't have any idea the consequences," Lynda said.

Alone in his room on Feburary 16, 2013 Vincent played the choking game. A game where a person cuts off the blood supply to the brain seeking the high of passing out. A game that the CDC says has taken the lives of at least 82 teens over a 12 year span.

Vincent's father found his only son that day in his bedroom, lifeless.

"He was just sitting on the floor, feet out, head down with a rope around his neck," Steve Kafka, Vincent's father, said.

Medical examination proved to the Kafka's that it wasn't suicide. Vincent wasn't trying to die; he was trying to get high. And now they want every parent to know that this, this isn't a game.

"We want to save one person's life. Make people aware of this dangerous stupid game that people play," Vincent's uncle James Kafka said.

Young people make decisions, caution thrown aside because of the air of invincibility. Vincent did just that and now his memory lives in a tattered favorite t-shirt, or a childhood stuffed animal.

His legacy, however, if his parents have a say will be as a cautionary tale about a game that is anything but.

"If we could save one or two lives from this I would be very happy," Steve Kafka said.


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