Fort Worth, TX,
10:40 AM

Raising Joy: Conversations Matter With Brad Hunstable

On this episode of Raising Joy, Hunstable candidly shares what he has learned since Hayden’s death and what he hopes other parents can learn from his experience.

***Warning*** In this very powerful episode, a brave parent talks about losing his child to suicide. While educational and impactful, we want to make you aware that this segment could be tough to listen to. You can listen to Episode 11 of the Raising Joy podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. You can also listen on our YouTube channel. The podcast is part of the JOY Campaign, which launched in April 2021 as a suicide prevention communication initiative, and aims to reach parents through honest conversations about the mental wellbeing of children and teens.

Brad Hunstable joins hosts Wini King and Kristen Pyrc, M.D., on episode 11 of the Raising Joy podcast. Hunstable’s son, Hayden, died by suicide just four days before his 13th birthday in April 2020. 

Hunstable had just finished a call when his daughter, then 8, ran to him, telling him something was wrong with her big brother Hayden. The 12-year-old had been playing his favorite video game Fortnite in his bedroom while his dad worked from home.

Hunstable rushed upstairs to his son’s bedroom and found Hayden in the closet, unresponsive. He called 911 and tried unsuccessfully to revive him. 

A few days later, Hunstable shared a video message on Facebook that has received more than 150 million views. He said, “COVID killed my son but not how you think.” Over the past two years, Hunstable has been on a mission to prevent the same tragedy from hitting other families. He has influenced parents around the country and across the world to have honest conversations with their children about mental health. 

Hayden’s Corner was established as a nonprofit to educate parents and children about mental health issues.

Hunstable and his wife also produced the award-winning documentary Almost Thirteen to raise awareness of Hayden’s story. 

On this episode of Raising Joy, Hunstable candidly shares what he has learned since Hayden’s death and what he hopes other parents can learn from his experience.

Raising Joy is part of Cook Children’s Health Care System’s JOY Campaign, a communications initiative aimed at preventing youth suicides. For more information about the JOY Campaign, visit

New episodes of the Raising Joy podcast will be available each Tuesday. It is currently available on all major streaming platforms including Apple, SpotifyGoogle Podcasts and YouTube.

About Cook Children's

Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization is comprised of nine companies, including our Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., Child Study Center and Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet the unique needs of their child. For 100 years, we’ve worked to improve the health of children from across our primary service area of Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. We combine the art of caring with leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child. This has earned Cook Children’s a strong, far-reaching reputation with patients traveling from around the country and the globe to receive life-saving pediatric care. For more information, visit