Mason Dark, a 16-year-old student in Wake Forest, North Carolina, is recovering from a severe injury after getting burned on Sunday while trying a dangerous TikTok challenge.
The teen’s mom, Holli Dark, said her son used a lighter and spray paint as part of a challenge that prompts people to use flammable aerosols to create miniature flamethrowers.
“They all heard a big boom, and then Mason came running out and [he] started taking off his shirt,” Holli told WRAL News.
Mason jumped into a nearby river to soothe the burns, but that didn’t make the situation any better. When Mason was taken to the hospital, the family learned that he has third-degree burns. He has burns on nearly 80 percent of his body.
“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% of his body.”
After Mason went into surgery, Holli said her son’s skin is slowly healing.
“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,” Holli said.
Mason, who attends Heritage High School, is known as a standout athlete. He is now expected to stay in the burn center for at least six months.
The family has launched a GoFundMe page which has raised more than $15,000 for Mason so far.
“My son Mason, needs your prayers. 75% of his body is burned. 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,” Holli wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Mason has a long road ahead of him. Please pray for his recovery. He is in an incredible amount of pain and is sedated.”