Video games have evolved quite a bit since Mario and the Nintendo and a lot of gamers spend their time online playing with other players. Sometimes they end up playing exclusively with their friends and people that they know but more often than not, they're introduced to new people that they game with and never end up meeting. In was in this scenario that Reilly Howard met a fellow gamer, aged 13 and saved his life.
Reilly Howard lives in East Hampton Connecticut and attends East Hampton High School as a sophomore. He considers himself a gamer and spends much of his time outside of homework and school playing video games. He lives the life of an ordinary teenager but recently has shown extraordinarily quick thinking. Teenagers are not most well-known for their intuitive abilities and that's why when Howard realized that a 13-year old fellow gamer that he'd never met in person needed help, everyone was impressed.
Reilly said that he sensed that something was wrong with his online friend before getting the chance to talk to him. When his friend finally reached out to him, he made sure that he was there to listen. Reilly told reporters that while playing video games he received the following message from his friend. "Yo, we need to talk. I need to tell you something...I'll make time it's fine." He started to open up to Reilly and began to cry hysterically about what was going on in his life.
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Reilly said that the 13-year old shared with him that he wanted to end his life and that he was thinking about doing it that night. What's most impressive about Reilly is that not only did he take the time to listen to his friend that he could tell was in desperate need of a sympathetic ear, but he sensed that his friend needed more help and encouraged him to call the suicide helpline.
After a 2 hour conversation, his friend did call the suicide helpline. He was on hold for 17 minutes but Reilly stayed with him the entire time rather than just passing him off. Eventually, Reilly's parents made it home and they were able to help take some of the decision making off of his shoulders. Reilly's parents decided to get the police involved and the police were able to locate the teen and help him.
Reilly's bravery is going to be honored by the East Hampton Board of education at the end of November. His actions give hope to us all, but Reilly believes that he just did what was right. He's quoted as saying "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,"