Teen Boy ‘Unrecognizable’ After Attempting TikTok Challenge That Burned 75% Of His Body

A teenage boy is now “unrecognizable” after trying a TikTok challenge that left 75% of his body with severe burns. Mason Dark tried the social media challenge in which you spray a flammable paint aerosol into a lit lighter. However, the 16-year-old had to be rushed to UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina after it went severely wrong.

Dark jumped into a river to put out the flames that were engulfing his body. And while this was effective, it also left him vulnerable to infection due to the bacteria present in the water in addition to his second and third-degree burns. He underwent his first of many surgeries on Wednesday, April 26 but has since developed pneumonia and further complications.

“Mason is still fighting the pneumonia. Yesterday he received 2 blood transfusions to help with his oxygen levels and blood pressure, which has seemed to help,” an update on his GoFundMe page posted on Thursday, May 4 revealed. “The doctors did a procedure yesterday to test the fluid in his lungs to be sure he was being treated with the correct antibiotic for the type of pneumonia he has.”

Dark is also struggling to handle “the feeds that his body needs to heal the wounds.” Because of this, they can’t take him off the ventilator and feeding tube. His blood sugar has also risen, leading him the teen to require insulin, though “they are hoping this won’t be a long-term plan.”

Mason Dark will need intensive treatment for months

It’s estimated that Mason Dark will be in the burn unit for at least six months, and his future is uncertain due to the extent of his injuries. As his mother, Holli, told WRAL, her son is now “unrecognizable” due to the extent of his injuries.

“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 said. “They all heard a big boom, and then Mason came running out and [he] started taking off his shirt. [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.”

The Dark family has currently raised nearly $58,000 of its $60,000 goal to pay for Mason’s ongoing treatment and recovery.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.