Discovering their teenager dead in her bedroom is every parent’s worst nightmare.
That is the tragedy which Francoise and Michael Corthals had to face on October 3 when they found the body of their beautiful daughter, Abigail.
The bright, creative 15-year-old was the victim of a deadly “choking game” which is raising its ugly head in Gold Coast schools.
The teenager, who had a penchant for thrill-seeking, died alone when the “game” went horribly wrong.
Police have ruled out suicide and her family discovered through an MSN account this was Abigail’s third or fourth attempt at the activity.
Her MSN account showed she and a friend planned to stop playing the choking game and in one message, she said: “We have to stop this now”.
“She must have done it one last time for one last thrill,” a tearful Mrs Corthals said. “Now she’s not with us and we miss her terribly.
“Time seems to have slowed down since she died. It’s like we’re living in a nightmare but we can’t wake up.”
Her parents said they had heard the choking game was being played at local schools and they are determined to warn other parents about its dangers.
“Until Abigail’s death, we had only heard about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and bullying but we had heard nothing about this choking game and I don’t think the schools want to talk about it,” Mr Corthals said.