Father of Karns City quarterback who collapsed on field sends thanks to community for recent support

PITTSBURGH — A tight-knit community is continuing to show their support several days after a Butler County high school football quarterback collapsed during a game.

Mason Martin remains in the hospital with serious injuries.

Related >> Karns City quarterback hospitalized after collapsing on the field Friday night

Related >> Family of Karns City football player who collapsed on field share update about his condition

The community impact is far-reaching.

Post-it notes filled with messages of love and support from Karns City classmates hang in Mason’s hospital room. Some people writing, “Keep fighting,” and “You got this Mason.” Last week, teams from across the area were sporting M2M decals on their helmets representing Mason’s name and football jersey No. 2.

Mason’s father, Denny Martin, stepped away from his son’s bedside at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Monday and met Channel 11 outside.

“It puts a smile on your face,” said Denny Martin. “It makes you cry at the same time and it’s really uplifting.”

But that’s not all.

Denny Martin said cards and messages have poured in for the 17-year-old from all across the country and as far away as Spain and Brazil.

Local businesses are also rallying around Mason by hanging banners along highways and fences that read, “Mason Strong.” From pizza shops in Rimersburg to restaurants, churches and fire stations stretching from East Brady to Chicora. Small towns are coming together and offering hope.

“We’ve read him every card,” Denny Martin said. “We’ve shown him and we’ve read through every social media post. We’ve shown him every article and every news clip. It’ll probably embarrass him but we we make sure he hears it all.”

The Karns City senior and quarterback suddenly collapsed on the field during a Friday night matchup on Sept. 1 after telling a referee he didn’t feel right.

Mason’s father said they don’t know what led to the fall and are waiting for swelling to go down on his brain to see the extent of his injuries. Martin adds that even though Mason’s been unconscious since that fateful night, he is showing some movement in his arms, legs and one of his eyes.

“It’s a waiting game, but it’s an active waiting game,” he said. “It’s very dynamic because things are changing all the time and what’s going on in his body. The doctors are just like superheroes to me.”

The Martin family is staying hopeful, including the teen’s mother, Stacy, who’s in the middle of her own fight with breast cancer.

“Big picture, the goal in life is for her to see Mason walk out of that hospital,” Denny Martin said. “If she’s not taking care of herself, she has to hold up her end of that bargain.”

Shana Stevens with the nonprofit Hope For Your Future has also shared messages of support from the community and Stacy Martin.

“Mason’s mom, Stacy, allowed our nonprofit Hope For Your Future to share her story of battling breast cancer at a young age and helped educate the public on the importance of self-care and self-examinations,” Stevens said in a statement. “As she was a part of our journey with starting our organization, I feel it is important to help share Mason’s story as we have a strong prayer base. And the only thing the Martin family has asked for in this difficult time is prayers for their son.”

The family is grateful for the community’s unwavering support.

“It’s so overwhelming,” Denny Martin said. “It brings you to tears a lot of times because it’s too much to take in that all these people care about your son that much. I get letters from people that, ‘I don’t know you, but your son’s story has touched my heart,’ and I just ... it’s like, wow.”

The Martins said they’ve spent hours at Mason’s bedside sharing the messages of hope.

Denny Martin said his son loves football and plays hard, adding that if Mason could walk out of the hospital tonight, he’d be playing on the field tomorrow.

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