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Denny Martin: The definition of what a father should be

Denny Martin was “running on adrenaline and hoping to catch up on some missed sleep” earlier this week.

In a Thursday social media update — shared only a few days before Father’s Day — Denny said his son was home following a months-long stay at multiple Pittsburgh area hospitals. Mason, 18, sustained a traumatic brain injury on Sept. 1 during the third quarter of a football game between the Karns City Gremlins and the Redbank Valley Bulldogs.

Mason, the Karns City senior quarterback, was taken from the field at the high school’s Diehl Stadium by ambulance and then transported by helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

While Butler County rallied — praying, posting signs with Mason’s jersey No. 2 and raising funds for the Martin family — Mason fought for his life in Pittsburgh with his parents, Denny and Stacy at his side.

As the students at Karns City Area Jr./Sr. High School posted a lip-dub tribute to Mason on Oct. 13, Denny’s wife, Stacy fought for her own life. Stacy King Martin died in hospice care after a battle with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer on Oct. 15.

Before the month was over, Denny watched as Mason was transferred to Mercy Hospital for rehabilitation following a cranial flap surgery that was initially delayed.

Amid a slew of ups and downs, Denny saw his son transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital, where he was discharged Tuesday afternoon.

Denny and Mason spent the evening sitting peacefully on the back deck with the dogs after a hectic day, Denny said in his Facebook post.

Through all of this, Denny has likely had times where he is “running on adrenaline.” Amid Mason’s journey to recovery, we hope he occasionally caught up on sleep.

But adrenaline and sleep will only get you so far. Over these past nine months, we’ve watched how Denny Martin has been there for his family and how despite challenges along the journey, he rose to the occasion again and again.

He is a stellar example of a father. His strength is beyond admirable, and he truly came through when his son needed him most.

Denny, you and your family remain in our prayers. Happy Father’s Day.

— TL

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