How This Teen Saved a Life by Playing a Video Game

Playing

For his compassion and empathy, 14-year-old Reilly Howard will be recognized by his town of East Hampton, Connecticut.

He saved another teen’s life while playing a video game.

"He couldn't even talk, he was crying so much and typed it and said, 'Tonight is going to be the night [I take my life],'" Reilly told WFSB.

Reilly often plays with friends and strangers, and recently met a 13-year-old boy from Florida through a game.

In talking to him, Reilly sensed something wasn't right.

"He finally messages me like, ‘Yo, we need to talk. I need to tell you something.’ ... And he starts to open up and cry about what's going on."

The boy told Reilly he was considering hurting himself that night.

“I knew he didn't want to be alone and I didn't want him to go. He's my friend. I didn't want him, if it was serious, I didn't want him to die,” Howard said.

Reilly stayed on the phone with him for nearly two hours and told him to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

When the boy's parents got home, Reilly told them what happened and they stepped in.

"Teenagers don't think you know, I'm just a teenager, who is going to listen to me? But people will, and you can have impact. You just have to show up, and talk to people and listen and I think that message needs to get out there," Reilly’s mom, Sheila Reilly, told WFSB.

The East Hampton Board of Education town is honoring Reilly for the heart he showed.

But all he thinks he did was lend an ear to help a friend in need. 

“I said, ‘I'll see you tomorrow, I'm going to be playing with you tomorrow. Nothing is going to happen tonight,'" Howard said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, help can be found at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free and anonymous crisis support in the U.S. from the Crisis Text Line. 

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