Mason Dark: TikTok challenge nearly kills footballer who is 'unrecognizable' after homemade blowtorch explodes
Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised
WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA: A 16-year-old boy is currently fighting for his life after sustaining third-degree burns while attempting a viral TikTok trend. The trend involves using a lighter and spray paint to create a makeshift blowtorch. Social media platforms are flooded with videos of people attempting the dangerous challenge.
Football star Mason Dark was attempting the trick inside his home in Wake Forest, North Carolina when the spray paint exploded with a huge bang on Sunday, April 23. Mason's family recalled hearing a "boom" before seeing their son rush outside and jump into the lake with 76 percent of his body burned and his condition is at risk of progressing. Mason's distraught mother Holli Dark, said, "he is unrecognizable."
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The teenager was rushed to the hospital where he remains in the UNC Burn Center. Mason sustained severe third-degree burns covering 76 percent of his body, although the extent of his injuries remains unclear. A recent picture from the hospital shows the boy wrapped in white bandages. On Thursday, he underwent "the first of many surgeries." "[We] come to find out now from the surgery, that he’s got the third-degree burns… it’s like a T in his back and it was from him taking off his shirt, and then it got stuck or something," Holli said. "We did not find out until yesterday that it was actually 76 percent of his body."
'I am asking for prayers for the family!'
The boy's mother expressed disbelief that she doesn't recognize her once outgoing son due to the severe burns he suffered. "The way he looked when those kids saw him when he first came in, to what he looks like now, it’s 100 times different," she told the news outlet. Mason is expected to stay in the burn center for about six months while he recovers, and according to his mother, his condition is at risk of worsening. "He jumped into a river to extinguish the flames. The risk of infection from the river water is high, on top of having 2nd and 3rd-degree burns," she wrote on GoFundMe.
"I am asking for prayers for the family, Holli, Julian and brother Austin (13) and any help with their needs: medical bills, gas, food, and housing during this time," read the fundraiser. The fundraiser has managed to raise more than $17,000 to assist with the teenager's medical bills and other essentials as of Friday night.