'Don't do stupid things.' Teen left with severe burns after TikTok challenge, now warning others

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Friday, May 26, 2023
Wake County high school student left with severe burns after TikTok challenge
Bandages cover Mason Dark’s legs and arms, but his progress in recovery is nothing short of a miracle.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Heritage High School student has a warning for other kids after 76% of his body suffered burns when he tried a TikTok challenge.

Mason and a group of friends saw people playing with lighters and spray paint cans on TikTok. They then decided to try it themselves trying to start a fire to stay warm, but the can blew up and flames engulfed his body.

With second and third-degree burns all over his body he had to go through skin graft surgery and was intubated for about three weeks so he could recover. Doctors expected him to be in the hospital for about six months, but Friday he's up and walking and has a message for other kids.

"Don't do stupid things. Don't try new things. Don't try to be different and make and impact and try to go viral," said Mason Dark.

Bandages cover Mason Dark's legs and arms, but his progress in recovery is nothing short of a miracle.

"He's definitely the one that has no fears. And he never would've thought anything would ever happen to him," said his mom, Holli Dark.

ABC11 first spoke with Holli in late April shortly after the incident. She issued a message to kids about emulating things they see on social media.

"Please listen to somebody who's not your parent. Please listen to me. Don't try these things. Don't, don't, don't do it. It's not worth it. It takes one second for it to not go right for you that you could be in the situation. And not just this particular challenge, but all the dangerous risky stuff that the kids try. I want them to know, just don't do it. It's just not worth it. Have fun. There's so many other things that they can do to have fun than to take those risks that some kids take."

Mason continues to make a fast recovery. He is even jogging now.

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