Pennsylvania High School QB Needs a ‘Miracle’ After Collapsing Mid-Game, Family Says

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
September 4, 2023Sports News
Pennsylvania High School QB Needs a ‘Miracle’ After Collapsing Mid-Game, Family Says
A customized football in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on May 26, 2018. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

A high school football player in Pennsylvania needs “a miracle” after collapsing on the field in the middle of a game on Sept. 1, according to his family, who said in a health update on Sept. 3 that the 17-year-old has been in critical condition for more than 36 hours.

Mason Martin, a quarterback for Karns City High School, suffered a “significant brain bleed as well as a collapsed lung,” his family told KDKA-TV.

The matchup between the Karns City Gremlins and Redbank Valley Bulldogs was cut short in the third quarter when referee Mike Vasbinder noticed Martin started to stagger after he received a hit during the game.

Despite the hit, the quarterback continued to play defense without any apparent issue until he left the field for the extra point and then came back for the return kick-off. However, the referee noticed something was off before the play started, prompting him to blow his whistle as Martin collapsed.

“I had to talk to him, and when I asked if he was alright, he told me, ‘no,'” Mr. Vasbinder said, according to the Butler Eagle. “So that’s when I knew something was wrong.”

The game was stopped early and the Redbanks were named the winner as they were leading 35–6 when the incident occurred.

Mr. Vasbinder said the medical emergency led staff members to enforce a series of protocols, including some of which the referee never had to follow in a game before last week’s incident.

“When we saw it got to the point where they were bringing on an ambulance, we talked to Redbank Valley’s coach and Karns City’s coach, who was obviously with his player,” he said. “And we just tried to stay back and keep calm, so things didn’t escalate.”

Martin was taken off the field in a Karns City ambulance before being flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh in a STAT MedEvac helicopter, reported.

His mother, Stacy King Martin, shared an update on her son’s health condition in a statement on social media on Sept. 3, thanking everyone for their love and support.

“Mason remains in critical condition with little change over the last 36 hours,” her message reads. “The truth is we need a miracle. I’m not saying that to sound grim, but to let you know that we need the strength of your prayers.”

“No one believes in this kid more than us, but he needs everyone’s strength and prayers,” the message continues. “Right now, we have to wait for the swelling to go down to assess the extent of the damage to the brain. So please pray the way he has always played the game, all out holding nothing back, maybe a little angry, definitely aggressive.”

The Karns City Gremlin Football Program also issued a lengthy statement after the incident, saying the school has counselors available for students and staff who need to talk to someone after witnessing Martin’s serious on-the-field injury.

Brittany Thompson, a spectator who was there with her daughter, said the situation was reminiscent of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s collapse during the Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We’re not from this school district, but my daughter wanted to come to the game,” Ms. Thompson said, the Butler Eagle reported. “It’s just really scary.”

Mr. Hamlin revealed the official cause of his collapse during a press conference in April, saying he collapsed due to a condition that mostly happens to teenagers playing baseball.

“The diagnosis of what happened to me was basically commotio cordis. It’s a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest,” he explained. “And five to seven seconds later, you fall out.”

Cardiac Issues Among Young Athletes

News of Martin’s medical emergency comes about a month after Lebron James’s son, Bronny James, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while he was practicing for the USC basketball team.

A spokesperson for the family said on Aug. 26 that a congenital heart defect likely caused the cardiac arrest. The condition had been identified “after a comprehensive initial evaluation” at the center and follow-up evaluations at the Mayo Clinic and Atlantic Health/Morristown Medical Center.

“It is an anatomically and functionally significant Congenital Heart Defect which can and will be treated,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

However, soon after the medical situation, rampant speculation emerged on social media, including a post from X owner Elon Musk suggesting that the cardiac incident was associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We cannot ascribe everything to the vaccine, but, by the same token, we cannot ascribe nothing. Myocarditis is a known side effect. The only question is whether it is rare or common,” the Tesla CEO said in late July.

At the same time, CNN interviewed its own medical analyst, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who asserted that the younger James’s health scare, as well as similar sudden cardiac arrest events involving young athletes, are “more common than people realize.”

Last month, the death of Caleb White, 17, from Alabama’s Pinson Valley High School also became a hot topic online as inquiries continue into the unclear links between COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and heart issues.

“24 hours ago, my grandson Caleb White collapsed on the basketball court, went into cardiac arrest and all attempts to resuscitate him failed. This was similar to the illness Labron James’ son experienced as he was working out,” Caleb’s grandfather, George Varnadoe Jr., said in a Facebook post on Aug. 11.

Studies on Vaccine Risks

A study funded by the South Korean government has confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines can cause sudden death. In June, authorities said that eight people died suddenly after receiving an mRNA vaccine due to myocarditis.

All the sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) occurred in people aged 45 and younger. One of the victims was a 33-year-old man who died just one day after he received the second shot of the Moderna vaccine. Another case involved a 30-year-old woman who died three days after getting her first dose of a Pfizer vaccine.

The results show the need for “careful monitoring or warning of SCD as a potentially fatal complication of COVID-19 vaccination, especially in individuals who are ages under 45 years with mRNA vaccination,” the study said.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Dr. Andrew Bostom, a retired professor of medicine in the United States, said that the results show why mandating COVID-19 vaccines for young people was flawed.

“These are people who ostensibly did not need the vaccine,” he said. “That’s what adds insult to injury.”

Aldgra Fredly and Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.

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