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Injured Karns City QB’s condition fluctuates wildly

Karns City quarterback Mason Martin, shown in this 2022 photo, is at UMPC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh struggling to recover after collapsing Sept. 1 during a game. Holly Mead/Special to the Eagle
Parents grateful for community support

It has been two weeks since Karns City quarterback Mason Martin collapsed during the third quarter of the Gremlins’ football game. And while his condition fluctuates wildly, his parents say “he is fighting like crazy and there’s not an ounce of give up in him.”

The 17-year-old, who is recovering at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, has been the recipient of prayers from across Western Pennsylvania and beyond, with local business putting up signs reading “Mason Strong.”

Mason’s parents, Stacy and Denny Martin, posted an update on his condition Saturday afternoon, Sept. 16, which has been widely shared across social media.

Mason, Karns City Area Jr./Sr. High School’s quarterback, collapsed during the third quarter of a game with the Redbank Valley Bulldogs on Sept. 1 at Karns City Area School District’s Diehl Stadium. He was taken from the field by ambulance and then transported by helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. His family said he suffered a brain injury and a collapsed lung.

According to the family’s account, each day over the past week has brought a new struggle. On three separate days, staff at UPMC Presbyterian had to rush to his side to save his life when his condition took a turn for the worse.

“Last Saturday evening Mason’s cranial pressure increased rapidly and doctors had to intervene to basically save his life. They believed this was caused by respiratory issues which they addressed through medication,“ wrote the Martin family. “The next day his sodium levels became dangerously elevated. They again battled through and got his levels back down to a safe level. This took about 24 hours for it to lower so it was another intense day.”

After a brief respite on Monday, Mason’s condition again deteriorated as he went into what the family described as “an aggressive coughing spell.” Soon thereafter, hospital staff determined that he was suffering through “V-Tach” or ventricular tachycardia, a type of irregular heart rhythm, and rushed in to save him again.

Since then Mason has shown more positive signs of recovery, his parents posted, with at least one eye reacting to light and his arms showing purposeful movement.

The Martins thanked the public for their concern and prayers for Mason, and told friends and supporters that they were being as transparent as possible given the difficult and ever-changing circumstances surrounding Mason’s health.

“As you can see, almost every day is different. There is no linear path or set timeline for injuries like this. We said we would be honest with the community and this is what our weeks look like,” wrote the family. “To respond to such a simple question of ‘how’s he doing?’ is difficult to answer. As always we are so thankful for the support and prayers.

“Please keep fighting for him!”

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