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Pennsylvania high school QB collapses on field from brain bleed, listed in critical condition

 September 4, 2023

A Pennsylvania high school quarterback is in critical condition after suddenly collapsing on the field during a Friday night game shortly after a tackle.

According to his family, 17-year-old Mason Martin is now battling for his life in the hospital, having sustained a major brain injury and a punctured lung, as the Daily Mail reported.

The game against Redbank Valley took an unexpected turn in its third quarter. Following a routine tackle, Martin initially continued to play.  However, moments later, his stability wavered while preparing for the return kickoff. Recognizing the dire situation, referee Mike Vasbinder quickly halted the game as Martin fell.

Community's Unified Support

A hushed silence enveloped the stadium, with both players and coaches from Karns City forming a united front, kneeling and offering prayers for their fallen teammate.

Vasbinder recalls asking Martin if he was okay, to which the young player responded in the negative, immediately alarming the referee.

Martin was quickly transported to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, first by ambulance and then by helicopter.

In light of the serious nature of the incident, officials decided to conclude the game prematurely, naming Redbank Valley the victors with their 35-6 lead.

Martin's family stated that he had suffered a "significant brain bleed as well as a collapsed lung," as KDKA-TVreported.

An Outpouring of Hope and Prayers

Updating concerned well-wishers, Stacy King Martin, Mason's mother who is battling with cancer, took to social media.

The mother said. "Mason remains in critical condition with little change over the last 36 hours. '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. Right now, we have to wait for the swelling to go down to assess the extent of the damage to the brain."

The family's update concluded with a poignant reference to Jeremiah 29:11, a Bible verse close to Martin's heart and one he had inked on his right thigh.

The verse reads, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

As news spread of the incident, a vigil was organized in front of the hospital, with numerous friends and family members attending.  Participants held signs reading "Mason strong" in Karns City's team colors.

Unified in Grief and Hope

Redbank Valley's coach, Blane Gold, recalled that he had consulted with Vasbinder and other officials, leading them to the collective decision to halt the game.

Vasbinder said, "The Redbank Valley coach was excellent. He said I don't want to do anything to show any disrespect, D9 Sports reported.

In a display of community spirit, Karns City's Superintendent, Eric Ritzert, declared a special prayer service for the senior quarterback at the local stadium.

Those close to the Martin family described the young athlete as a dedicated team leader who gives his all during every game.