Dad Cory Grattan knew something was horribly wrong when his phone rang at 4 a.m. “I knew something was wrong because we don’t get a phone call at that time in the morning. Something happened in my spirit. I just knew something was wrong,” he told Canada’s CBC News.
It was the phone call every parent dreads. His son Brady Grattan, just 18, was on life support at a hospital in Alberta where he had moved after his high school graduation to study welding. But now, that young life full of promise was about to be extinguished because of a deadly drinking game at a party. His parents Cory and Tracey of Fredericton, New Brunswick say they want to spread story of their son’s death on February 4 after a common drinking game called “beer pong” to as many people as possible, in the hopes that parents will talk to their kids about this and that Brady’s story can prevent this from happening to any other family.
Brady’s senseless death is made all the more shocking by the fact that he ingested enough alcohol to kill him within two hours of arriving at the party. Beer pong is normally played with beer, but, says Cory Grattan, “They were using hard alcohol. Brady was texting somebody at about 10 that night. He was in hospital in the ICU at about 12:45 a.m,” Grattan said. He also said that when his son sent that 10 p.m. text, he was still at his own home. So between 10 p.m. and 12:45 p.m., he drove to the party and consumed an “incredible amount of alcohol really fast,” his dad says.
“The ambulance was called. They came. They revived him, they took him to the hospital. He flat-lined on the way there, then they revived him again. So all of this happened in like a two-hour span, consuming that much alcohol and ending up in ICU.”
That, my fellow parents, is insane.
And it’s the reality that Cory and Tracey Grattan are living with.
Their beloved son Brady never regained consciousness. All efforts to save him failed, and he died on February 4th.
Now their mission is to make sure that no other parents go through such a senseless tragedy. They want YOU to talk to your kids about drinking and drinking games. They want YOU to tell your kids the intimate and tragic details of their son’s death, so that their story doesn’t become your story.
“So it’s a whole new game now, and it’s a dangerous game. It’s a deadly game and I’d just like to bring awareness to people because you don’t think it can happen to you?” Cory Grattan said.
“I never imagined that it could happen to us.”
Brady’s dad says that if one young person says “NO” to a drinking game because of his son’s story, the pain of making their grief public will be worth it to their family. And Brady’s mom, Tracey, puts her plea to young people regarding drinking games very, very simply:
“Don’t play them,” she said.
“Be smart. I mean, don’t make your parents go through this. Don’t make anyone go through this.”
Parents: please talk to your kids about drinking. Our prayers are with the Grattan family, even as their prayers are that you’ll never have to feel the pain they are going through at the tragic loss of their son.