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Mason’s 18th birthday passes in hospital

Karns City QB
Mason Martin

Mason Martin officially became an adult on Saturday, Feb. 10, but he wasn’t awake to celebrate it.

Since collapsing during a high school football game in September, he has bounced from hospital to hospital slowly recovering his functions.

Mason is currently undergoing rehabilitation at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. As they have since his injury, the Martin family and the Butler County community poured out their hearts for Mason for his 18th birthday, showering him with cards and gifts, showing him that they were still thinking of him.

In advance of Mason’s birthday, the family accepted cards through UPMC’s website. In addition, Sugarcreek Elementary, where Mason attended elementary school held a “shoot-a-thon” fundraiser for his recovery which raised $6,000.

“I wasn’t able to read any cards to him because I didn’t want to disturb him,” wrote Mason’s father, Denny Martin, on Facebook. “I will have my work cut out for me the next few days, but every card and social media post or comment will be read to him.”

Mason collapsed while playing for Karns City Area Jr./Sr. High School’s football team in a game against Redbank Valley on Sept. 1.

His father admitted the past week has been a struggle, as Mason has experienced recent bouts of discomfort and agitation.

“I wish I could lie and say he had an amazing day but that wouldn’t be fair,” he wrote. “He spent most of his birthday in discomfort.”

Martin attributed his son’s discomfort to a day of heavy exercise on a rehabilitation tricycle at the hospital Friday.

“His feet were strapped to the pedals and we pushed him around for about 20-30 minutes. It was really cool and he seemed to enjoy it,” Martin wrote. “We think that is what’s causing his discomfort. We’re assuming his legs are very sore, as that’s the most prolonged work he’s done since his injury.”

Martin also thanked pediatric rehabilitation physician Dr. Lauren Kremm for her work with Mason.

“Every day she had to battle something new with Mason, which means every day she had to put up with me constantly pressuring her for solutions,” Martin wrote. “She typically had to enter his room with me ranting and raving and by the time she left we were laughing and in good spirits.”

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