Samuel, Gabriel's twin brother, explains his involvement in the game. "We played the game a couple times a day. When my mom first found out, she went psycho: â€˜I can't believe you did this.' I stopped, but Gabe got addicted."
She struggles to move on, but feels stuck in a rut. "Our life has changed drastically. I'm barely hanging on by a thread. I've lost a lot of weight. I can't sleep. I can't turn the lights off, especially in their bedroom," she says. Because she feels an urgency to warn other parents about this dangerous game, she says she neglects her other son. "Samuel's on the sidelines. I'm just not available. He's resentful of me, spending so much time researching this and contacting people, he needs his mom back."
[AD]Samuel doesn't know how to reconnect. "My mom is unavailable. It's like trying to talk to a semi-conscious person," he explains.
Turning to Dr. Phil for help, Sarah says, "Our relationship is in trouble. I've already sacrificed one. How could I possibly sacrifice another?"
"Gabriel was a beautiful child," Sarah reflects. "I'm consumed. I'm angry that I didn't know about the dangers of this game. For me, I can't stop. I can't let go of this until I know that the public is fully aware of this â€¦ This game has been going on for a long time, and it's been kept quiet for too long."
[AD]Sarah's wish is for the schools to be more proactive. "They can teach our children not to share dirty needles. They can teach our children where to obtain condoms. They can teach our children the dangers of drug abuse and what it does physiologically and emotionally to them. We're warned about so many things in the public school," she points out. "I don't know why this isn't being warned about in our school systems."
"And he's going through it as well," Dr. Phil reminds her. Turning to Samuel in the audience, he says. "Tell me how you're doing."
[AD]Turning back to Sarah, Dr. Phil says, "You can't run away, and I know that's what you're trying to do. What you're saying is, â€˜If I can keep busy, if I can stay on task, if I can keep myself just constantly on the phone and on the computer and doing this, then it won't catch up to me.'"
Sarah agrees. "That's kind of what I'm hoping."
"There's nothing for me to do around there where we live, and most of the kids are littler than I am," Samuel explains. "There's nothing for me to do, and if she's doing something else, I'm pretty much stuck." But Samuel isn't sure if getting his mom away from the computer will be enough. "If you were available, we would probably talk about memories or something, because we probably wouldn't have much else," he says. "She won't go to the river or the lake, hardly."
[AD]Dr. Phil explains Sarah's reticence. "You don't want to go camping. You don't want to go places because you know those are things that will remind you of what you have lost with Gabriel," he says. "It is not a betrayal of that young man's memory for you to find joy in your life with his brother. It is not a betrayal of Gabriel for you to say, â€˜I have to let you go.'" It will take some time for Sarah to stop grieving Gabriel's death. "In the meantime, you have got this young man that is sitting here and saying, â€˜I miss you. I am lonely,'" Dr. Phil observes. "You want to save the world? It starts at home. If you want to save a child, start with this one. Start right here."
[AD]Dr. Phil praises Samuel's courage. "You need to speak up for yourself and you've done that, and she needed to hear this. I'm proud of you for being here. I know you're in a tough, tough, tough spot," he says.
So that Sarah and Samuel can bond, he surprises them with a four-day, three-night stay at Boulder's Resort and Golden Door Spa in Arizona. Sidestep.com will provide airfare, hotel and transportation for them.