SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — What began as just a normal April day biking with his dad and brother, quickly took a turn for the worst for Mason Harris.
“I fell off a bike ramp and I broke my neck,” Mason said.
The 14-year-old from Fayetteville traded two wheels for four. He was rushed to Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock by ambulance.
“It was kind of scary. I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never had an experience like this,” Mason recalled.
Doctors were standing-by when he arrived at the hospital, prepared to take him into surgery.
“We had a bunch of doctors coming in throughout the night and the day asking me ‘any pain, tingling or numbness’ and most of the time I’d say, ‘a little pain here and there,’ but nothing much because my neck was stabilized,” Mason explained.
To Mason’s surprise, an MRI revealed his neck could heal on its own without surgery, with the use of a neck brace. “At the time I felt really relieved but later I was like, ‘three months in this?’ That’s got to be tough because of no physical activity.”
After he was finished with his brace, he was then able to return to normal life with some lasting limitations. “I’ll have to be more careful than I was before because you know the bones, if they take a big blow they may break again.”
He’s no longer allowed to play football so instead he runs track and cross-country.
When he’s not playing sports, Mason serves as an ambassador for Arkansas Children’s Northwest. “I can maybe help people feel comfortable and not feel as scared or nervous about going through the same stuff I went through.”
Mason said it’s imperative he lets his story serve as a lesson because “you never really think you’re going to be a patient until you are.”